National Trust Encourages Government to Protect Coasts and Seascapes

By The National Trust, PRNE
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

SWINDON, England, April 21, 2011 - National Trust has joined campaign groups in an effort to encourage the
Government to recognise Britain's coasts and seascapes as more than just a

More than sixty years after laws were passed to protect Britain's
landscapes the UK Government and devolved administrations in Wales, Scotland
and Northern Ireland need to extend the same protection to the UK's
seascapes, campaign groups are urging.

Phil Dyke, coast and marine adviser at the National Trust, said: "As an
Island nation it does seem strange that it's taken us more than six decades
to start thinking about how we protect our seascapes, these wonderful yet
fragile places that mean so much to people."

The UK Marine Policy Statement heralds the beginning of the development
of a marine planning system across the UK however while seascapes are
mentioned campaign groups fear that they are not given the prominence they
deserve and so they have come together to launch a new manifesto for coasts
and seascapes*.

The manifesto for coasts and seascapes is supported by the National
Trust, Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), Campaign for the Protection
of Rural Wales (CPRW), Campaign for National Parks, the National Association
for Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Europarc Atlantic Isles.

Neil Sinden, policy and campaigns director of the CPRE said, "Our marine
area is becoming increasingly busy, with more shipping, military training,
fisheries, energy production, port development and aggregate extraction. This
is placing pressure on what's left of the beauty and tranquillity of our
coasts which are such an important part of our quality of life and national
identity. That's why we need a robust marine planning system that extends the
protection that we have for our landscapes to our seascapes"

Three of the key areas that the manifesto focuses on in terms of early
action by all levels of Government are to:

- Recognise coasts and seascapes as a key resource in the marine

- Identify the character and distinctiveness of the coastline
and seascapes.

- Identify areas that are of national importance and a means by which
they can be conserved by the planning process.

In addition to the fundamental contribution to the economy and culture of
Britain's coastal communities, research by the National Trust found that two
thirds of Britons said that visiting the coast is important to their quality
of life**.

Current planning protection and designations only apply to land stopping
at the low-tide mark, leaving seascapes vulnerable to pressures from human
activities. Seascapes are, in just the same way as energy production, port
activities and aggregates extraction, a key resource of the marine
environment. The challenge is to ensure seascapes are safeguarded, linking
their protection with that offered to adjacent areas of coast for the benefit
of future generations. The new system of marine planning across the UK
provides this opportunity.

Phil Dyke, added: "As a nation we clearly love the coast. We have to
seize this chance to ensure a robust and sensible planning approach to one of
the most precious and delicate resources we have. We should become a world
leader in protecting our coastal and marine natural and cultural heritage for
future generations."

Notes to editors

* A copy of the manifesto is available by emailing/ calling the National
Trust press office

** National Trust coastal values survey 2010

About National Trust (

The National Trust manages 710 miles of coastline in England, Wales and
Northern Ireland providing a wide variety of coastal walks (
and days out (
across the UK and a range of things to do in Northern Ireland (

Its first ever parcel of land was a two hectare site called Dinas Oleu in
North West Wales. The Trust manages one third of the coast of the South West
of England and twenty per cent of the Welsh coast and iconic sites such as
the White Cliffs of Dover in Kent and the Giant's Causeway in Northern

(Due to the length of these URLs, it may be necessary to copy and paste
the hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field. Remove the
space if one exists.)

    For further press information and images please contact:

    Steve Field
    Assistant Press Officer
    The National Trust
    Kemble Drive
    Wilts SN2 2NA


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