National Trust at White Cliffs of Dover

National Trust at White Cliffs of Dover

A missing ownership link put the land at risk of potential degradation through possible commercial development.

Objective

For centuries the striking White Cliffs of Dover have been seen as an icon and sign of freedom, attracting 260,000 visitors annually. The National Trust, a UK based charity protecting historic places and green spaces, owns and manages a 7-kilometer stretch of the White Cliffs of Dover – a magnificent coastal site overlooking the English Channel. The land is separated by a privately owned 1.35-kilometer stretch that runs between the White Cliffs Visitor Centre and South Foreland Lighthouse. This missing link was available for sale, putting the land under the care of the National Trust at risk of potential degradation through possible commercial development.

Impact

In June 2012, the National Trust announced an appeal to “Save the White Cliffs.” The Trust aimed to raise £1.2million to enable them to purchase the remaining 1.35-kilometre stretch of the cliffs to protect this natural habitat as an iconic landmark for generations to enjoy.

Donations were received from more than 16,000 people and organizations, including TreadRight. In November 2012, the Trust announced that it had raised £1.2million – reaching its target in just 133 days, nearly two months earlier than expected.

By buying the missing piece of the coastal jigsaw, the Trust was able to restore the natural habitat, providing more space for species to retreat as the cliffs naturally erode. Part of the money was also committed to the long-term running costs and improvements to the site.