COUNTRYFILE presenter John Craven has lent his support to the Save the Beachy Head Lighthouse’s Stripes Campaign in the week the fundraising project almost topped the £2,000 mark.
The former Newsround presenter posted on the campaign’s Facebook page, “The Beachy Head stripes have become part of our coastal heritage. They may no longer serve a practical purpose but to many people they are a dramatic symbol, reminding us how vital lighthouses will always be. The campaign to save them has my full support.”
He joins a long list of celebrities and international organisations who are supporting the campaign to raise around £30,000 to get the lighthouse’s iconic red and white stripes repainted including weatherman Michael Fish, Neil Oliver, patron of the Association of Lighthouse Keepers, the World Lighthouse Society and the South Downs National Park Authority.
The campaign was set up by the Facebook group, Eastbourne Rotary AM and the Eastbourne Herald after Trinity House, which owns the lighthouse, said it could not justify the cost of repainting the stripes because mariners now use satellite based systems to avoid the area and said it would have to return to its natural granite grey colour.
Crown Paints, owned by Danish manufacturers Hempel, is sponsoring the campaign and donating the red and white paint but thousands of pounds are still needed to pay for a specialist team to paint the stripes.
Collectors were out in Eastbourne town centre and in the Arndale Centre last Friday and £240 was donated by passing shoppers.
In addition the Beachy Head Countryside Centre has donated £235 and campaigners are now getting ready to apply for heritage lottery funding in a bid to boost the total.