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UK National Trust Raising Funds To Preserve White Cliffs Of Dover

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The National Trust of the UK is trying to raise 1.2 million pounds (almost $2 million) to preserve an almost mile-long stretch of the White Cliffs of Dover, reports the BBC.

The White Cliffs of Dover are so called because of the chalk that gives them their characteristic color. They're considered one of the UK's most iconic landmarks -- having been the site of the first arrival of the Romans and the return of rescued British soldiers during WWII -- and are also an important natural habitat. They face the Strait of Dover and France in the southeastern part of England.

According to The Telegraph, the area to be purchased would fill in the gap an almost five mile stretch of the cliffs already owned by the National Trust.

'"If we don't raise the money then the future of the White Cliffs is uncertain and this stretch of coastline might one day be disrupted by inappropriate management or development," Fiona Reynolds, director general of the National Trust, told the paper.

Visitors are already able to walk the stretch of the cliffs in question, reports the Daily Mail. But, because part of the stretch is privately owned and arable land comes close to the edge, there's little room for a path.

"We own pockets of land either side; but it's a gap in the middle, and from a wildlife point of view you have a gap where you go into farmland and there's not much we can do for wildlife or for people," Brian Whittaker, acting property manager for the cliffs, told the BBC.

If the trust is able to purchase the section, it will be able to restore the natural habitat, giving animals more space to retreat as the cliffs erode.

The White Cliffs aren't the only world monument that need some help. In October of last year, we learned that the Great Wall of China, was in danger of collapse due to mining activity. And, India's iconic Taj Mahal is also in danger of collapse if its rotting wooden foundation isn't fixed.

For more endangered sites around the world, check out some of the World Monuments Funds' 2012 endangered list in the slideshow below.

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National Trust bids for White Cliffs of Dover