Wildflower meadow on the White Cliffs of Dover named in honor of Dame Vera Lynn


A meadow on the famous White Cliffs of Dover has been renamed in memory of beloved singer Dame Vera Lynn to mark the anniversary of her death.

The scenic seaside strip of land is teeming with wildflowers and songbirds and will serve as a lasting tribute to the beloved figure of war.

A clifftop lighthouse was due to be lit Thursday in honor of Dame Vera, shining over the English Channel after being lit by her daughter.

Dame Vera, who entertained troops with frontline support visits during World War II, died aged 103 on June 18, 2020.

Her famous words “There will be blue birds on the White Cliffs of Dover” forever associated her with the beautiful Kent coast.

Virginia Lewis-Jones, daughter of Dame Vera, on a visit to the meadow Credit: Arnhel De Serra / National Trust / AP

Dame Vera’s family will also officially launch a fundraising appeal for a memorial statue of the late singer on Friday, with a song released to help raise funds.

Renamed Dame Vera Lynn Down, the meadow was unveiled in a special ceremony Thursday, while a path leading to the cliffs was also renamed Dame Vera Lynn Way by Dover District Council.

The wheat field was part of a £ 1million fundraising campaign by the National Trust to buy 178 acres of clifftop arable land in 2017, which Dame Vera supported.

It has now returned to its original prairie state and is already filled with wildflowers including daisy, wild carrot and viper bugloss, and attracts corn buntings and larks, the songbird of the land.

Virginia Lewis-Jones, daughter of Dame Vera, said: “My mother would be absolutely delighted if the wildflower meadow was named after her, especially since she has proactively supported the National Trust’s campaign to protect the landscape in 2017.

“She has always loved having flowers around her and has been an avid gardener for many decades.

“The name change of the trail to Dame Vera Lynn Way is a touching tribute as my mom always pointed out that the White Cliffs were the last landmark seen when the boys went to war and the first they saw. on their return home. “

The view of the cliffs Credit: Arnhel De Serra / National Trust / AP

Dame Vera was also known for hits like There’ll Always Be An England, I’ll Be Seeing You, Wishing and If Only I Had Wings.

Another of her songs, We’ll Meet Again, had a resurgence last year when the Queen referred to it in an address to the nation on the coronavirus lockdown.

Ginny Portman, Executive Director of the National Trust, said: “Dame Vera Lynn will be forever remembered on the White Cliffs of Dover.

“It is fitting that the fields she helped save are now home to the lark and its beautiful melodic song.”

The trust and the board further marked the anniversary with a special turn-on of the South Foreland Lighthouse, which has only been lit three times in 33 years.

The Victorian Lighthouse was decommissioned in 1988 but was lit Thursday evening with special permission from the Trinity House Lighthouse Authority and HM Coastguard, in honor of Dame Vera.

Dame Vera’s family are raising funds to build a memorial statue near the White Cliffs of Dover, officially launching their appeal on Friday.

Singer Katie Ashby, who performed on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent with The D-Day Darlings, is releasing a song called Irreplaceable to raise money for the memorial on Friday.


Chris B. Hall

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