The National Trust is today supporting the launch of 66 miles of the England Coast Path in Kent and East Sussex.
The conservation charity cares for six miles of coastline in Kent, including the White Cliffs of Dover and Sandwich and Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve.
An event marking the opening of the path will take place at the National Trust’s White Cliffs visitor centre.
The England Coast Path is an initiative of Natural England, the government’s natural environment agency. When the full path opens in 2020, the 2,700 mile long England Coast Path will be the longest continuous walking trail in the world.
Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust, said: “We are a proud partner in Natural England’s England Coast Path. The path represents one of the biggest steps forward for countryside and coastal access in a generation, making space for nature and people around our shores.”
The National Trust, which cares for a tenth of the English coastline through which the path will pass, has been closely involved in the development of the path.
Dame Helen said: “The coast path offers the chance to create a corridor for wildlife habitats to recover and thrive, while allowing people to experience natural heritage at first hand.”
Virginia Portman, National Trust General Manager at the White Cliffs of Dover, said: “The White Cliffs have always been a place where exciting journeys begin. We hope that the new coast path will encourage more people to venture further along the White Cliffs, discovering the wildness and fantastic wildlife along this stretch of Kent coastline.
“The path will take walkers past recently restored natural landscapes. With help from local partners and farmers, we have already returned one former arable field to chalk grassland. It is four years since the last crop was harvested. This has provided further habitat for rare and beautiful butterflies like the Adonis blue, which make this landscape their home.”
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