Published: 06:00, 07 November 2019
A £2.27m cash boost has enabled the National Trust to boost the numbers of insects and wildlife in a field on the White Cliffs of Dover.
Broadcaster and the postcode lottery's charity ambassador Fiona Phillips visited the trust's site, atop of the cliffs, to see the impact of its conservation work.
Canterbury born Ms Philips, said in a video of her visit, that she "didn’t have any idea how much goes on here" before her visit.
But while there, National Trust landscape engagement officer Chris Doolan showed her how one barley field is attracting creatures to make it their habitat.
He told Ms Phillips how the funds allowed the trust to buy 170 acre Wantstone Farm where they have planted barley.
He said: "There will be a lot of British farmland birds that make their nests and lay within the crop and they can grow up with the crop at the same time."
'The efforts to protect wildlife here are so important and it’s wonderful to see the conservation project in action and to hear the songbirds singing in the fields again' - Fiona Phillips TV presenter and people's Postcode Lottery ambassador
The video, published on Youtube, shows footage of a six metres wide field margin which he says is "full of British wild flowers insects and butterflies and that's all food for the birds that are nesting in the land there."
He added: "This land is a great example of how you can manage a landscape and produce a crop.
"Bird watchers have reported a huge increase in birds, wildlife, butterflies and native species that haven't been seen for such a long time here."
Hundreds of thousands of people visit every year to see the magnificent landscape and take in the views.
The ongoing erosion of the chalk cliffs, which is what helps keep them famously white, is also the reason the charity’s work has been crucial in recent years.
The purchased land extends back from the cliffs, ensuring they can continue to manage the area as the cliff line retreats.
National Trust aims to ensure the coastal path will remain open to the public so that the walk along the White Cliffs of Dover can continue to be enjoyed by future generations.
The purchased land is now being managed in a way that encourages both flora and fauna to thrive.
Among the breeds seen recently include corn buntings, skylarks and Green hairstreak butterflies.
Ms Phillips praised the trust’s efforts.
She said: “The White Cliffs of Dover is such a special place – it’s been fantastic to visit such an iconic British landscape. The efforts to protect wildlife here are so important and it’s wonderful to see the conservation project in action and to hear the songbirds singing in the fields again, thanks to funds raised by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.”
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised more than £486 million to date for projects across Britain and internationally. At least 32% of ticket sales goes directly to charities and good causes.
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More by this authorBeth Robson