Members of Cookhill WI were taken on a fascinating tour of the British Coastline by our speaker Mr Peter Clements a member of the National Trust Supporter’s Group. The National Trust now owns 775 miles of the coast of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The role of the Trust is to maintain, develop and preserve our coast for future generations. The Trust already have two success projects in Dorset and Isle of Wight to encourage youngsters to understand the coastal environment and to understand its importance for us all not just those who live by the sea. Starting on his coastal trip, Peter started in the North East. Pictures from Northumberland and its vast and deserted beaches, rugged paths leading downwards to the different terrain of Norfolk and Suffolk, with their wetlands. Home to a variety of migrating birds, preservation of terrain is not only to benefit humans but our wildlife too. Down to the Thames and along the south coast, the Needles and Isle of Wight come into view. Lighthouses, and fortifications now deserted are part of the landscape. Around Devon and Cornwall with their unique harbours, the coast changes frequently, and shows how nature erodes the “edges “of Britain. Those tiny harbours which were full of fishing boats now support thriving holiday experiences “by the sea”. Moving into Wales, where the first “piece of coastline” was acquired by the Trust. Not forgetting Northern Ireland and its magnificent coastline, with the Giant’s Causeway a huge attraction, brought this whistle stop tour to an end. The Trust has acquired, been bequeathed, purchased these 777 miles and funds permitting will continue to expand its owenership.However the Trust is so dependent on the dedication of time given by its committed volunteers to preserve and maintain this valuable asset, time given often more valuable than a one off donation of money. Octavia Hill, a founder member of the National Trust, observed ‘It may not be given to us to make our offering by contributing to the purchase of land or building, but in some form, tangible or invisible, let us resolve that some sacrifice shall be made, some lasting gift devoted, by us, for our own dear England’
After a welcome cup of tea, members enjoyed a challenging quiz all about the County of Worcestershire. Cookhill WI meets the second Wednesday of each month 7.30pm at Cookhill Village Hall. New members very welcome.