Families across the isle are flocking to join in with the rock hunting craze.
Thanet Rock Hunters facebook group was set up just last Summer by childminder Sandra Perry. It now has more than 3,000 members and is run by Broadstairs mum-of-three Jo Levitt and a core group of other rock hunters.
Those taking part decorate their rocks and then hide them for others to find. Once discovered a photo of the rock and its finder is posted to social media and then the stone is rehidden.
The attraction, other than it being free to take part, is that it gets the whole family out hunting together and anyone, of any age and ability, can join in.
The group has swelled massively this year, more than doubling in size. It has also revealed some talented artists whose gorgeous pebble decorations might tempt you not to part with the stone!
Jo, who is also a childminder, said: “It’s a good fun activity that anyone, no matter what level of talent, age or income, can participate in.
“You can take part without paying out for anything if you want to. It gets people out and about- children don’t realise they are exercising, and it brings people together, chatting in the parks etc.
“The group feels like a community. We can’t believe how it’s taken off!”
Rock hunters Charlie Hayman and Shaila Palmer-Brackett have been painting rocks for Thanet Volunteer Centre and Thanet Community Support Partnership to help their #BeSomeonesRock campaign to prevent loneliness in the Thanet community.
Charlie is head boy at Newington primary and Shaila is in year 5 and a Ramsgate sea cadet. She also volunteers at the Silver Sunday events and both children supported the recent Newington Natters day.
More themed rocks will also be painted – and hidden – as part of the fun at next month’s Thanet Pugathon in Ramsgate.
There is also the suggestion that a regular rock painting group could be set up for people to paint together and swap stones and Bromstone school in Broadstairs is joining in the fun by creating 150 predator and inspirational quote pebbles which will be hidden for rock seekers to discover.
Ellington Infant School in Ramsgate also hosted a rock painting event at the end of last term. Children decorated between 50-100 rocks that were then hidden around the community and the playgrounds.
Mum Ema Hewitt is one of those who have recently taken up the activity to help keep her children amused.
She said: “It was Oliver’s third birthday when we found this special alien rock in Broadstairs and re-hid it. He was so excited and now him and his little brother Freddee are nonstop looking for the beautiful, colourful rocks!”
And the rocks created in Thanet are not confined to the isle. They have been hidden across the country and the globe, popping up as far afield as America and Europe.
Thanet Rock Hunter guide
POSTS: Start your facebook post with FOUND, MADE or HIDDEN.
WHAT TO DO:- Paint a stone or two, write Thanet Rock Hunters on the back then varnish and hide them away for others to find and keep or re hide.
If you want to join in get painting, or hunting.
HUNTING:- Remember only take photos and re-hide or keep and replace with one of your own.
Please remember lots of other people would like to find so re-hide them a.s.a.p, it makes going for a walk lots of fun ????
MAKING :- You can use sharpie pens/ permanent markers or acrylic paints, paint pens and yacht varnish, no rules other than keep it clean, the pebbles /cobbles are for sale in the Range, Bunnings and garden centres, try not to take from beaches.
HIDING:- Please try not to hide in clusters and not where dogs can soil them. Spread them out, don’t make it too easy ????
It’s all about making someone’s day.