Campaign to save the landscape at Cuckmere Haven: Your chance to help!
This is an appeal to those who enjoy both the glorious natural and built environment of the Downs and the valley at Cuckmere Haven: an appeal to help preserve them for the next generation.
The Sussex Downs arrive at the Channel coast in a glorious sweep of chalk cliffs stretching from Seaford to Eastbourne. The most famous section, known as The Seven Sisters, lies between Cuckmere Haven and Birling Gap. More Dover than Dover, these landmark white cliffs with the picturesque Cuckmere Coastguard Cottages in the foreground have long been one of the most beloved views in England.
Cuckmere Haven is framed by the white cliffs of the Seven Sisters to the east and the West Beach and Short Cliff to the west. The Haven has long been a delight to local inhabitants, and now to an increasing number of visitors from continental Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asia.
Buildings in such a location need to have strong sea defences. These have been built and maintained chiefly by the families of the last Coastguards for the past 70 years, but now the business of protecting this magnificent view is looking uncertain. The money and effort required to secure these landmark properties is not insurmountable, but the Government has a policy of managed retreat on wilderness coasts like this one. The withdrawal of public funding for sea defences at Cuckmere has created a problem; the financial burden is too great for local private pockets to bear.
This magnificent view with its necklace of historic cottages, so integral to this landscape, is much loved by local residents and walkers and has become famous around the world. It has become a favourite subject for a multitude of artists, photographers, film makers, and those working with print and digital media.
Images of the cottages with the Seven Sisters can be seen in many guidebooks and travel posters around the world, as well as providing the desktop image for thousands of computer users. Also at risk from ever greater tides and storms is the historic Cable Hut (one of few remaining in the UK), as well as the remains of military defences from two world wars, which are an important part of our local and national heritage.
"An appeal to help preserve the view for the next generation"
The storms of 2013/14 did immense damage to this special site and required emergency (but only temporary) building up of sea defences. This bought time so that this UK registered charity, Cuckmere Haven SOS could be set up to accept donations in order to achieve a long term solution. Up to £1million will need to be raised to complete planning, design and construction. It is easy to contribute, just click here:
The cottage properties will continue to be the responsibility of the owners during and beyond this campaign. We must not let this landscape slip into the sea. It must be preserved for the future! Please, help us!