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Fan Bay Deep Shelter and Sound Mirrors


Applicant: National Trust

Project: Fan Bay Deep Shelter and Sound Mirrors

Grant award: £15000

The Fan Bay project was one of the largest and most unusual volunteer projects ever undertaken by The National Trust. A team of over 50 volunteers came from across the country to help excavate the tunnels and sound mirrors, in total removing over 600 tonnes of spoil. In all volunteers gave over 3000 hours to help open the tunnels to the public and the project cost £117,000. Volunteers undertook nearly all the preparatory works which helped to minimise the overall cost of the project. However, the National Trust say that, "We wouldn’t have been able to achieve everything that we needed to do without the Up on the Downs Grant which helped in particular to finance the excavation of the Sound Mirrors."

The shelter opened to the public in July 2015 and up to October 2016 over 13,000 people have visited. It has been hugely popular with those who have visited the site and it has achieved a score of 74% in The National Trust visitor survey, making it one of the most popular attractions in the South East. A whole new team of volunteers has been recruited to open and share the tunnels with the public and the team now exceeds 90 in number. The project has helped to highlight the importance and popularity of wartime history and has helped to raise the significance of Britain’s war time heritage within The National Trust. On a more local level it has helped to save an important war time site and to tell the story of when Dover and the White Cliffs were Britain’s Front Line. 

More information available at:

The National Trust Website

A Fan Bay blog