A tract of shingle so large that it has been named Britain’s only desert has gone on sale for £1.5m.
The desolate Dungeness Estate – an unlikely tourist spot that attracts 1 million visitors a year – has been owned by a family trust since 1964.
Now the trustees are hoping a new owner can reinvigorate this barren spit of land in Kent, famous for its nuclear power station and for starring in a host of music videos for the likes of Pink Floyd, The Prodigy, The Thrills and Turin Brakes.
On the market with Strutt & Parker, the 468-acre Dungeness Estate includes 22 properties – largely converted railway cottages – subject to a 99-year lease. The power station, pub, lighthouses and railway station are not part of the sale.
Maurice Ede, one of the trustees, said: ‘The estate has been in a family trust for many years and it is with some sadness that the trustees have decided it is time to sell.’
He added: ‘It is often said that this distinctive and undisturbed landscape is unlike any other part of the United Kingdom. I have known it intimately for 40 years and never fail to be moved by it on my regular visits.’
The area has been classed a site of Special Scientific Interest thanks to its unusual shingle ridges and wildlife.
Dungeness Estate generates an annual income of over £130,000 from ground rents of long-term residential leasehold properties, as well as commercial fishing agreements and licences allowing the movement of shingle in order to protect the power station and nearby coasts.
Film director Derek Jarman is among its famous residents and the estate has also appeared in 1981 film Time Bandits.