Friday, 13 December 2013

Thanet Coast and Inshore Waters are now a Marine Conservation Zone

Recently announced Marine Conservation Zones includes the Thanet coast. This means that our coastal environment is protected because of its unique habitats, marine life and chalk reefs. Two examples are as follows:

Stalk Jellyfish

Blue Mussel

The Thanet Coast Project and Kent Wildlife Trust are delighted with the designation. Their work on shore search and recording supported by Coastal Wardens and other Volunteers has helped gain recognition for our coast and marine environment.

Marine Conservation Zones

Marine Conservation Zones are a type of Marine Protected Area. They protect areas that are important to conserving the diversity of nationally rare or threatened habitats and/or species and those places containing habitats and/or species that are representative of the biodiversity in our seas.

For Map showing the Marine Conservation Zone Click on link.

Friday, 6 December 2013

The Urge of the Surge

Was the Tidal Surge up to Expectation?
These are perhaps a few pictures of the many that have been taken today. The Westgate Walking Group were surprised at the state of West bay this morning after last nights surge. The Swan Inn must have been a little nervous as water reached the road. However the beach huts did not fair so well some had ended up as flotsam on the beach. The brick beach huts next to the toilets had about 4 foot of water. According to a spokesman saucepans that were on shelves were full of water this morning. 
Lunchtime today the tide was in again and but the height of the water appeared to be not as high as last night. However the waves crashing over the prom were quite spectacular.
We must think ourselves lucky that the wind was WNW as if it had been stronger and more northerly it could have been more serious. The bays taking the most battering from this wind direction were St Mildred's and West Bays on this part of coast West of Margate.
St Mildred's Bay takes a pounding

West Bay too

Last night's damage

Westbrook Undercliffe Nature Park now has lakes.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Westgate Village Green Public Enquiry Closes

Top field adjoining Ursuline Drive Westgate

After a torturous week of evidence where a formidable legal team headed by a barrister were fighting against the application to register this land in Westgate as a village green faced up to a team of law students from the Kent Law Clinic from the University of Kent.
It was obvious that the barrister was very skilled at cross examination however the students conducted themselves both professionally and courteously despite constant interruptions from  the barrister.
With these cases the registration of village greens which on the face of it looks fairly straightforward now relies on opinions of  the law lords on every point including trying to define what is a 'neighbourhood'. If you were to ask a 100 people you would probably get a 100 different definitions. An industry has now sprung up to fight applications to register village greens. The intentions of the Act by parliament have become ever more complicated and is now a tangled web of arguments.
I just hope that inspectors at public hearings can remain fair minded and ensure that proceedings are conducted on a level playing field in cases where applicants do not have the funds to engage an expensive legal team.
The hearing closed on Friday 22nd November and the inspector will write a report in December and recommendations will be made by the end of January 2014.
For those interested the law states:

Section 15 of the Commons Act 2006 enables any person to apply to a Commons Registration Authority to register land as a Village Green where it can be shown that:
‘a significant number of the inhabitants of any locality, or of any neighbourhood within a locality, have indulged as of right in lawful sports and pastimes on the land for a period of at least 20 years;

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Hot off the Press

Printable copy in link bottom right. Click on" WWRA minutes Oct 13"







Tom King councillor and chairman, forty three members, Kerry Boyd (Ch of Garlinge RA), KCC Cllr Jeff Elenor, and three members of TDC staff promoting Thanet’s improved recycling scheme.

The chairman welcomed all attending.


Apologies had been received from Mercia Beach, Mick Rooney, Samantha Secomb, and Chris Wyer.


The chairman introduced Graham Laws and Susie Hooper who spoke about the new TDC recycling and waste service.  This is due to start on 4th November, and the day of collection may change.  The percentage of waste recycling has been unsustainably low but should improve considerably with the new system.  Details of the new containers and correct contents were explained to members.  There are to be new vehicles with different sections for the various types of recycling.  Food waste will be collected each week.  Some properties where there is difficulty in storing the bins or filling them will be given special consideration, and arrangements will be made to start these during 2014.  Each dwelling has or will receive a welcome pack with an information booklet, a calendar denoting collection dates, and stickers for the bins.  The web page also gives further information, and there is a “Frequently Asked Questions” section.

Answers to questions raised at the meeting included the present blue and black lidded bins will be retained and used as part of the new procedure, small amounts of food fats bagged should go in the black lid bins, as also do cards with metallic decorations. Shredded paper is placed in the red bags and should be covered.  Food recycling is going to be sent to an anaerobic digester and the gas resulting will be used to produce electricity, compost will also be produced.

The TDC staff members were warmly thanked for their time and clear presentation.

The Chairman then gave a brief update on Thanet Families in Need sent from Kerry Keating who had addressed our general meeting a few months ago.  This is a very worthy cause and has been helped by many organisations, and up to four hundred people had received items in one month.  A new premises had been found and it was hoped to open a soup kitchen.  Warm clothing, furniture have been put to good use, and the operation has helped social services keep mothers and babies together.  Tom reminded members that a food collection box is in the Bake House, which is open each morning.



The minutes of the last meeting, (9th September 2013), which had been circulated, were adopted on a prop by James Brazier sec by Richard Charlton, and signed.



1)      Marc Lawrence Memorial.  Tom King reported attending the Military Covenants meeting at Manston when he put in an outline of the bid which will be appropriately circulated and we are now waiting to hear.  Quotes from stonemasons are being obtained.

2)      Beach Clean St Mildred’s Bay.  Carried out on Beachwatch weekend 21st September, and helpers were warmly thanked.

3)      Steps Clearing at West Bay (by the CafĂ©).  Stephanie reported this had been completed and thanked all the helpers.

4)      Tesco Westgate.   This application has gone to appeal, the result is awaited.

5)      General Meetings Venue.  Today’s meeting was changed to Westgate as the Westbrook Bowls Club was not available, and although detailed in the minutes these could not be accessed on the usual website, and apologies were made for any inconvenience caused.  Tony Sykes offered to put general meeting minutes on the WASPS website, and a notice will be displayed in the Bake House door or window to confirm the venue for the November meeting.  The venue will also be shown on the W&WRA Facebook site as shown in the magazine.



KCC Cllr Jeff Elenor:

1)      Station Road Westgate.  Three trees in planters had been ordered, there was a discussion about the cost and type of trees.  Some plants in planters had been vandalised previously, this time hardy plants will be planted deeply with two bars to try to resist vandalism.  Rubbish bins are needed near the station entrance so hopefully the planters will not become receptacles for rubbish.



1)      Ron and Elsie Wellingham had sent a letter of thanks to members for the card and good wishes received.

2)      Village Green Application (Canterbury Road).  Graham Rickett now has details for the public enquiry which is to be held at the Swan over the week 18th to 22nd November, and asks for maximum support.

3)      Westbrook Undercliff.  Tony Sykes reported that TDC had given the field one cut to encourage wild flowers for next year, and thanked the volunteers for their help in looking after the patches with trees and shrubs.

4)      Food Bank for Thanet Families in Need.  A letter of thanks for support had been received.  350 to 400 people have received help and it is hoped to set up a winter soup kitchen.  (The box for donations is in the Bake House).

5)      Electoral Roll.  All residents should complete registration forms recently received to secure their vote.



1)      7, St Mildred’s Road.  Application for erection of two storey extension and pitched roof.

2)      47, St Mildred’s Road.  Application for single storey side extension.

3)      36, Westgate Bay Avenue.  Application for three new dwellings, thought to be in the garden to the side of the house.  One member understood this was to be a high quality build, Tom agreed to check if this development was reasonable.

4)      4, Cliff Field.  Application for part single, part two storey extension.

5)      Lockwoods Site Fence.  The enforcement officer has been made aware that the wall was listed and should go back (with the letter box at present being stored by the Post Office) however there is a legal obligation to have the site safe and secure during development.  James Brazier has supplied a photograph of the old wall to Nick Dermott.



No Report.



Derek informed the meeting that the magazine is ready to go to the printers.



Margaret reported that two cards had been sent out this month.



No report.



Civic society meetings continue on the first Thursdays in the month at 7.30pm.

Westgate Heritage Centre is open from 10.00am to 12.00noon with a talk on the first Saturday of the month.



1)      Friday evening suppers.  The next evening will be on 1st November and will include a quiz by Richard Charlton.

2)      New Year Lunch.  To be held on 12th January 2014, menus and booking forms available at the Bake House.



1)      Garlinge Residents’ Association Quiz Night.  This is 26th October 6.45 pm for 7.00pm in the Old School Hall, cost £5 includes fish and chips.  Teams of six to eight.

2)      Westgate Pavilion.  Fancy dress evening Thursday 31st October, 6.00pm to 10.00pm, £1.50 children £2.00 adults.


NEXT MEETING Monday 11th November, at Westbrook Bowls Club.


There being no other business the meeting concluded at 8.52pm.



Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Plea to Save Another Open Space

Graham Rickett has been campaigning for the last two years to save a valuable open space in Westgate. Please read his article below. If you remember WASPS successfully registered the Westbrook Undercliffe as a Town Green protecting it from development. Open space is shrinking in Thanet due to development and registration as a village green will give this space legal protection. So if you can help please contact Graham.

A Village Green in Westgate-on-Sea?


We would like to safeguard all further use of this field at the rear of Ursuline Drive  and to the east of King Ethelbert School (black rectangle) for the community of Westgate-on-Sea and our neighbours by registering it as a village green. This area has been used for over 30 years for different recreational uses over the years. “The Linksfield Estate” community are selfishly trying to preserve this area for a community use of this small field at the south west end of Westgate-on-Sea. This can preserve an area of open space, which is rare in Thanet, for our future generations of children to use. We are asking for evidential support from anyone who is interested in adding their voices to the protection of this area for the local use that it has always enjoyed so far. This is also an area with populations of wildlife which are unusual such as the green woodpecker, lesser and greater spotted woodpecker and butterflies – small skipper, marbled white and small heath (recorded in Kent as unusual) amongst others. It would be a shame to see the loss of their habitat if this area was to be developed upon.  People have enjoyed the use of this field for many years – walking, playing with children/grandchildren, dog walking, blackberry picking, picnicking, kite and model plane flying, etc.

Our application to have the field adjacent to Ursuline Drive registered as a village green has entered the public consultation phase and we need your support to make our campaign a success and to safeguard access to this field behind Ursuline Drive for our and for future generations. The hearing after 2 long years was held on the 26th February of this year (our evidence questionnaires (71) were sent to KCC on the 28th November 2011),  the panel of 5 KCC members could not decide to grant us this area on legal grounds and so the case has been referred to public inquiry (November 18th – 22nd). We now need your support more than ever. So if you have ever used this area of land, please get in touch. The important thing for us now is

1)      We need you at the public inquiry – 18th to 22nd November during the day and evenings at the Swan in Westgate-On-Sea

2)      supply email or phone details for contact, if you want more details – email better

3)      Any offer of support – or suggestions for us to get the most from our inquiry

If you are happy to do any of these – please let Vince or myself know ASAP by emailing or phone 07870563918 or phone 07795987553
We are counting on you for support of this area thanks for your
support. This is for you and future generations

Friday, 18 October 2013

A Peek Under the Waves at Sunset

Shore Search Walpole Tidal Pool Draining.

What an opportunity to examine marine life not normally seen in the intertidal region of our coast.
Thanet Coast Project sea search in Walpole Bay tidal pool during its annual draining last evening. Here are some images of the evening in perfect weather.

Creatures found included lobsters, squat lobsters, eels, hairy crab, spider crabs, bootlace worm, pipe worms, sand gobies, dahlia anemones and most importantly a colony of velvet swimming crabs which shows their recovery from the disaster reported on this blog in January 2010.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

The Secret Residents Meeting. Where have all the councillors gone?

Westgate and Westbrook Residents Association

You have to keep your ear to the ground if you want to attend the WWRA meetings as they could be in Westgate or Westbrook. For those of you that are interested the next one will be the second Monday in November (11th) and will be at the Bowls club in Westbrook (allegedly).

The previous mix ups have been due to double booking and a number of other problems.

Where have all the Councillors Gone?

Apart from  Tom King (chairman) and our UKIP KCC councillor there has lately been a lack of presence from councillors. Have they lost interest or are they less able to find out where meetings are held than the rest of us.

There is a particular lack of Westbrook councillors. Kiss me quick and off I go seems to be the order of the day. No doubt they will reappear at election time.

My worry is that the Captain Mannering brigade will take over our local political scene if apathy reigns.

I do not like politics and feel that councils run by political parties are detrimental to our towns. Will we ever get councils who get on with the job instead of petty political squabbles.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Rocky Shore Safaris Do not miss them.

This week if you want an activity that will fascinate the kids then get down for the Rocky Shore Safaris. They are taking place as follows:

  • Wed 31 July, 12:30pm - Botany Bay, Kingsgate, Broadstairs
  • (Sign in: Besides Beach Kiosk, at bottom of steps from Marine Drive CT10 3LG)
    • Thur 1 August, 1:30pm - Nayland Rock, Margate Main Sands
    (Sign in: Promenade, near Nayland Rock shelter CT9 1XN)
    As part of "Beach Blast Fun Day"*
    • Fri 2 August, 2:30pm - Stone Bay, Broadstairs
    (Sign in: Lower promenade, near bottom of steps with toilets accesssed from Eastern Esplanade: CT10 1DP)
    • Tues 13 August, 9:30am - Minnis Bay, Birchington
    (Sign in: Promenade by Tidal Padling Pool, CT7 9QP)
    • Wed 14 August, 10:30am - West Bay, Westgate
    (Sign in: Next to West Bay Cafe, CT8 8QG)
    • Sat 17 August, 2:30pm - Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs
    (Sign in: Lower promenade, at bottom of slope to the beach, CT10 1TJ)

    Boxes and sieves supplied  and guidance given on exploring our wonderful tidal reefs and rock pools. Experts on hand to identify creatures found.

    More details on Thanet Coast Project  website.

    Tuesday, 9 July 2013

    Under Our Feet

    A Talk on Local Geology by Peter Golding

    On Thursday, 18th July at the Lecture Hall, Broadstairs Campus of  Christ Church University, Northwood Road, Broadstairs.

    Doors Open 7.15 p.m..  The Talk starts at 7.45 p.m.

     Everyone is welcome.

    Admission is £5, £2.50 for students and £3 for IOTAS members who are sponsoring the Talk.

    There is free parking at the rear of the University Building.

    Thursday, 4 July 2013

    Westbrook Wildside

    Westbrook Ramble, Insects and Wildflowers

    With the long grass the Westbrook Undercliffe is a haven for birds, insects, butterflies and wildflowers. For those interested in field studies its worth a visit.

    Monday, 1 July 2013

    Who said Rocky Shore Safaris were only for Kids?

    Thanet Coast Wardens put on Safari for the Big Kids.


    Discussing the fine points of crabs.

    Love is in the air!!!

    Result of Love on the Rocks

    Group briefing
    On Friday 28th June over 20 of the Westgate Health Walking Group were treated to a Thanet Coast Warden's led Rocky Shore Safari. The weather stayed dry long enough for them to get down and be kids again. Rock pooling on Thanet's tidal reefs can be enjoyed by all.
    They were amazed by the variety of marine life found on our coast which included crabs, fish, sea anemones, shells, prawns and shrimps along with all sorts of seaweeds. 
    Many thanks to Wardens Chris, Eileen and Tony who  led the event and gave a wealth of facts about the finds. Look out for future events from Thanet Coast Project this summer and if anyone wants to enjoy a walk the walking group they meet at Westgate Library every Friday at 10.15 am.

    Thursday, 6 June 2013

    Thanet has Six of Top Ten Beaches in Kent and Sussex


    According to Family Friendly Fun  Thanet has six beaches in its top ten for Kent and Sussex. With Blue Flags and all things are looking up.
    Check it out:

    Thursday, 18 April 2013

    Margate Mayhem and Murder

    Bodies on the Pavement

    Yes you guessed it it's another film crew filming in Margate with bodies strewn across the pavement. I am told it was the filming of the TV drama "The Tunnel" and not "Arlington versus Tesco".

    What turned out to be a simple ramble into Margate turned out to be an action packed walk. What with a Vicar posing for photos for the press and masses of geography students surveying passers by on what they thought of Margate I could hardly contain my excitement. Along with a gale and sandstorm it made for an interesting walk but that's Margate you never know what you may find.

    Thursday, 11 April 2013

    Big Beach Clean

    Big Beach Clean - Margate &  Westbrook

    Help on this national beach clean event run in partnership with the Marine Conservation Society, Marks & Spencer and Thanet Coast Project. Beach litter will be recorded on the main sands, and you can join the clean along Westbrook beach. Gloves, sticks and bags provided.

    • Sat 27 April, 10am (2hrs) - Margate Main Sands & Westbrook
    Meet: Thanet Coast Coastal Community Beach Hut (opposite Arlington House CT9 1XN)

    Why we do it.

    Thanet beaches are beautiful  and we want them kept that way for all to enjoy them. However what accumulates has further implications for marine conservation. Plastic and other rubbish has a devastating effect on marine wildlife and mammals.  There is a deep concern about plastic which eventually breaks down to small particles which are predicted to enter the marine food change. If this happens this could be a threat to humans. It maybe true that what goes around comes around. That is not all disregarded nets and fishing line are a peril to fish and crabs. All collected rubbish will be analysed, surveyed and recorded.  

    Friday, 15 February 2013

    Bay-watch Walk and Talk

    Marine and Wildlife on Thanet Coast by Graham Coastal Warden for West and Epple Bays

    Walk with Graham on 15th February 2013 with 25 Westgate health walkers. Many thanks Graham for an interesting Talk and Walk.

     Slides below from his talk.

    Anyone interested in walking with a friendly group. They start at Westgate Library at 10.15 am every Friday.