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The White Cliffs of Dover are famous cliffs located in Dover, England. They are part of the North Downs cliff formation. The cliffs are popular due to their distinct whiteness that is due to the fact that they are made out of chalk. Thousands of people visit The White Cliffs of Dover every year, not only for their color, but also because they are the biggest cliffs in Britain.
See the fact file below for more information on the White Cliffs of Dover or alternatively, you can download our 21-page White Cliffs of Dover worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
SIGNIFICANCE IN THE WAR
- During both World War 1 and World War 2, the White Cliffs of Dover played a significant role in British defences.
- Protective trenches were dug across the clifftops and can still be seen today.
- A useful aerial ropeway was built across the cliffs to carry coal to Dover in 1929. The ropeway was about 10 km long and made it possible for 500 tons of coal to be delivered per hour.
- Interestingly, secret tunnels could be found under the cliffs. These were carved during the Napoleonic Wars by prisoners in Dover Castle.
- During World War II, Winston Churchill used the tunnels for his headquarters.
- Large sections of the cliffs sometimes collapse due to erosion. One instance of this was in March 2012, when a huge section of the cliffs collapsed into the English Channel.
- The White Cliffs are popular enough to have been mentioned in several pieces of literature. For example, they are mentioned in a poem by Rudyard Kipling and also in one of William Shakespeare‘s plays, King Lear.
- The White Cliffs can also be seen in numerous popular films such as the James Bond film Moonraker.
- One of the most significant and famous songs of World War 2 mentions the White Cliffs of Dover in its title.
- It is a song by Vera Lynn titled “There’ll be Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover”.
- It is a patriotic song that helped to boost the morale and spirits of the British Military forces.
- However, there are actually no bluebirds in England.
- The White Cliffs of Dover are found along the coastline of Kent in England.
- They are located at a point where Great Britain is closest to continental Europe.
- The White Cliffs of Dover are visible from the French coast on a clear, sunny day.
- They are located at one end of the Kent Downs, the eastern half of the North Downs, an official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
- An official Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is an area of countryside in England, Wales, or Northern England that is officially declared and designated for conservation or protection due to the significance of its natural landscape value.
- The Gateway Building, a National Trust visitor center, is located on the White Cliffs of Dover.
- The building was established in 1999. Van Heyningen and Haward Architects designed it to house a restaurant and an information center employed by the National Trust to provide details of the archaeology, history, and landscape of the area.
GEOLOGY AND FORMATION
- Great Britain and the majority of Europe were under the sea about 70 million years ago.
- The seafloor was covered with white mud.
- The white mud was formed from pieces of coccoliths.
- During the Cretaceous period, small algae floated on the surface of the water. When the algae decomposed, their skeletons remained: these are the coccoliths.
- The coccoliths sank to the bottom and formed muddy sediments along with the remains of other creatures.
- It took a very long time for the sediments to be deposited.
- The coccoliths piled up by approximately half a millimetre a year, equivalent to about 180 coccoliths piled one on top of another.
- Due to the Earth’s movement, the seafloor levels raised, and the piles of chalk are now exposed.
- There is chalk grassland at the top of the White Cliffs of Dover.
- This landscape provides a diverse and pleasant environment for several species of wild flowers, butterflies, and birds.
- Because of its ecological richness, it has been designated as an Area of Conservation and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
- To help to conserve the area, rangers and volunteers work to clear invasive plants that threaten the native flora.
- The conservation work also involves Exmoor ponies, a native and endangered species of pony, as they feed on faster-growing invasive plants.
- The Exmoor ponies are managed by the National Trust, Natural England, and Country Wildlife Trusts in order to maintain vegetation in the area.
- Migratory birds like ravens and jackdaws land on the cliffs as their first landing point.
White Cliffs of Dover Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the White Cliffs of Dover across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use White Cliffs of Dover worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the White Cliffs of Dover which are famous cliffs located in Dover, England. They are part of the North Downs cliff formation. The cliffs are popular due to their distinct whiteness that is due to the fact that they are made out of chalk. Thousands of people visit The White Cliffs of Dover every year, not only for their color, but also because they are the biggest cliffs in Britain.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- White Cliffs of Dover in Great Britain Facts
- White Cliffs Illustration
- Cliffs Formation
- War Time Capsule
- Truth or Trash?
- White Cliffs Dictionary
- Epic Cliffs
- To Do in Dover
- Importance of Conservation
- Picture Postcard
- Listen and Learn
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Link will appear as White Cliffs of Dover Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 7, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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