Stars back plan to buy White Cliffs

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Dame Judi Dench, singer Joss Stone and chef Rick Stein are among stars who have backed a £1.2m appeal to safeguard one of England’s most famous landmarks, the White Cliffs of Dover.

The National Trust said it has already raised almost half the money needed since launching its largest-ever coastal fund- raiser last month to buy a stretch of the chalk cliffs just less than a mile long.

The purchase would fill in the missing link in a stretch of coast almost five miles long owned by the National Trust on behalf of the nation, from its visitor centre above Dover port to South Foreland lighthouse.

Dover-born singer Stone said: “I love Dover and the White Cliffs. They mean so much to me and I hope that the National Trust raises enough money to buy the land for future generations to enjoy.”

Other high-profile figures who have lent their support include Forces’ sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn, actor Richard E. Grant, yachtswoman Dame Ellen MacArthur and comedian and Kent resident Paul O’Grady.

The chalk cliffs stretching east from Dover are home to a rich array of wildlife such as the Adonis blue butterfly and peregrine falcons,