The Clash, Plan B, The Arctic Monkeys, Elvis Costello and now… the National Trust. One of Britain’s most celebrated poets, Dr. John Cooper Clarke, has penned the start of a new poem reflecting the nation’s love affair with the coast, ‘Nation’s Ode to the Coast’, to encourage the UK to experience the coast this summer.
This summer the nation is invited to help finish the poem by sharing inspiring memories and their love of the coast using #lovethecoast
John Cooper Clarke says of the project; “The sea has been a rich source of inspiration to me from year zero. It’s a glimpse of eternity available to every inhabitant, so I’m right behind the National Trust on keeping the coast beautiful”.
The public’s contribution will help inspire Dr. Clarke to create the rest of the verses of the poem, which will be unveiled in autumn. The contributions can take the form of words, pictures, social media posts or even seaside sounds.
Gwen Potter, wildlife and countryside ranger at the National Trust says, “We are asking the nation to get involved over the summer and share their favourite coastal memories – past, present and future – with us in any form to help us complete the poem and encourage people to reconnect with this majestic landscape.”
Launched in May 1965, the Neptune Coastline Campaign is one of the longest running environmental campaigns in western Europe and has resulted in the National Trust managing 775 miles of coast in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, equating to over 10% of the UK’s coastline.
Gwen continues, “Looking after the British coastline is a big responsibility… Several of our properties are iconic symbols of Great Britain – from the White Cliffs of Dover, to the Gower Peninsular and the Jurassic Coast – that are visited by people from all over the world. We also care for and protect many rare species of plant and animal life, so it is crucial that we continue to care for these important pieces of land.
Dr. John Cooper Clarke will also voiceover a specially commissioned TV and cinema ad campaign launching on 13th July.