National Trust celebrates 50 years of Neptune Coastline Campaign
Fifty years ago the National Trust launched its ambitious plan preserve the British coastline for future generations and today the initiative is still going strong. Having made great strides in the project, the Trust is looking forward to a number of exciting developments.
Since 1965, the Neptune Coastline Campaign has raised roughly £65 million used to purchase and manage as much of the UK’s coastline as possible.
Funds raised through the Neptune Coastline Campaign have enabled the National Trust to purchase 574 miles of coastline, which brings the total stretch made available for the public to enjoy to 775 miles, spread across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Recently, the Trust has been able to acquire a stretch of the Great Orme near Llandudno in North Wales which is one of the UK’s top botanical sites, home to unique plant and butterfly sub-species. Archaeological finds dating back thousands of years have also been made in the area.
Director-General Helen Ghosh said: “Over 50 years the extraordinary generosity of people from across the world has enabled us to buy some of the most beautiful, dramatic and diverse coastline on these islands. This campaign has tapped into that deep sense of connection with, and love of, the coast. Without this, our coastline could look very different today.”
Looking forwards with its new coastal vision, the National Trust is looking to increase access to its coastlines by developing new paths and improving the quality of its existing ones in support of the Government’s promise to open up the entire English coastline by 2020.
Celebrating the success of the National Trust, St Austell Brewery has launched a limited edition beer; for every pint bottle of its 4.3 percent pale ale called ‘The Gribben’ 20p will be donated to the campaign. The name comes from the headland on the edge of St Austell Bay that the brewery helped purchase for the National Trust in 1966, in support of the campaign.
The beer will be sold across 200 National Trust branches in the South West, St Austell Brewery pubs and is also available from the brewery’s website.
The National Trust is the largest single coastal landowner in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, it works together with Government agencies, partners and landowners to deliver a healthy, beautiful coastline rich in wildlife and culture, which people can enjoy and which benefits local communities and the coastal economy.
It costs the National Trust £3,000 per year to manage just one mile of coastline. To help make sure our coastline can be cherished for ever, for everyone, please make a donation here.
SAS: Improving the British Army’s decision making with data
SAS’ long-standing relationship with the British Army is built on mutual respect and grounded by a reciprocal understanding of each others’ capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Roderick Crawford, VP and Country GM for SAS UKI, states that the company’s thorough grasp of the defence sector makes it an ideal partner for the Army as it undergoes its own digital transformation.
“Major General Jon Cole told us that he wanted to enable better, faster decision-making in order to improve operational efficiency,” he explains. Therefore, SAS’ task was to help the British Army realise the “significant potential” of data through the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to automate tasks and conduct complex analysis.
In 2020, the Army invested in the SAS ‘Viya platform’ as an overture to embarking on its new digital roadmap. The goal was to deliver a new way of working that enabled agility, flexibility, faster deployment, and reduced risk and cost: “SAS put a commercial framework in place to free the Army of limits in terms of their access to our tech capabilities.”
Doing so was important not just in terms of facilitating faster innovation but also, in Crawford’s words, to “connect the unconnected.” This means structuring data in a simultaneously secure and accessible manner for all skill levels, from analysts to data engineers and military commanders. The result is that analytics and decision-making that drives innovation and increases collaboration.
Crawford also highlights the importance of the SAS platform’s open nature, “General Cole was very clear that the Army wanted a way to work with other data and analytics tools such as Python. We allow them to do that, but with improved governance and faster delivery capabilities.”
SAS realises that collaboration is at the heart of a strong partnership and has been closely developing a long-term roadmap with the Army. “Although we're separate organisations, we come together to work effectively as one,” says Crawford. “Companies usually find it very easy to partner with SAS because we're a very open, honest, and people-based business by nature.”
With digital technology itself changing with great regularity, it’s safe to imagine that SAS’ own relationship with the Army will become even closer and more diverse. As SAS assists it in enhancing its operational readiness and providing its commanders with a secure view of key data points, Crawford is certain that the company will have a continually valuable role to play.
“As warfare moves into what we might call ‘the grey-zone’, the need to understand, decide, and act on complex information streams and diverse sources has never been more important. AI, computer vision and natural language processing are technologies that we hope to exploit over the next three to five years in conjunction with the Army.”
Fundamentally, data analytics is a tool for gaining valuable insights and expediting the delivery of outcomes. The goal of the two parties’ partnership, concludes Crawford, will be to reach the point where both access to data and decision-making can be performed qualitatively and in real-time.
“SAS is absolutely delighted to have this relationship with the British Army, and across the MOD. It’s a great privilege to be part of the armed forces covenant.”