Mountain of litter left behind by crowds on Margate Main Sands

Dumped rubbish Photo Frank Leppard

This is the tide of filth left behind by beach-goers in Margate yesterday (June 25).

Piles of booze bottles, empty chip boxes, plates, wrappings and even a child’s inflatable were discarded across the main sands by people who did not bother to take their trash home.

Some visitors did use the bins which were overflowing by the afternoon. Similar mess was left at other beaches including Botany Bay.

The appalling mess was left despite Thanet council having put extra bins in place from the May bank holiday. Extra cleaning crews had also been put in place, equating to a full summer service, following “disappointing” litter left behind by visitors last month.

Photo Frank Leppard

Residents were astonished at the sheer number of people crowding onto beaches including Botany and Margate Main Sands with many saying the isle had been busier than most Summer holiday weekends.

In Margate fights were reported at the King’s Steps, another by the Nayland shelter and a further brawl at the railway station.

Fighting was also reported at Viking Bay.

In Botany Bay an emergency services crew called out to deal with a fire caused by a beach barbecue took 15 minutes to crawl along part of botany Road due to inconsiderate parking.

A resident in Botany Bay said cars were still arriving at gone 8pm  and police had closed access in the afternoon because of the growing danger of emergency vehicles  unable to get through.

Photo Rob Knight

Thanet council, via its twitter account, said “thousands of people” had visited the isle and urged them to make sure they took their rubbish home. The plea clearly fell on deaf ears.

Mess at Botany Photo Rob Knight

A Reading Street resident said hundreds of people had also descended on Joss Bay. She added: “This is what Joss Bay car park looked like at 6.30am this morning after the absolute mayhem there yesterday with hundreds and hundreds of people crowding onto the beach and blocking up all the roads leading to it.

“It was the worst I have ever seen. Beach, car parks roads and fields all covered in litter. Bournemouth is not the only beach that’s affected by these thoughtless idiots.”

There have been calls for an alcohol ban on the beaches but it is questionable whether Thanet has the resources to enforce such a ban.

Concerns have again been raised about a lack of social distancing and the potential for transmission of the coronavirus.

Photo Frank Leppard

Currently the R rate – the number of people a carrier would infect – stands at 0.7-0.9, below one but only by a small margin.

According to government data 43,230 people who tested positive for covid have now died. This number is likely to be greater with some experts saying it is nearer to 65,000.

Photo Dan Thompson

There have been 684 covid-positive cases in Thanet.

County councillor Karen Constantine called the visitor rush to Thanet “bloody mad and risky.”

She said: “ I think it’s time for some clear leadership and better guidance about the overcrowding that’s now happening on some of Thanet’s beaches.

Photo Frank Leppard

Chris Whitty, UK Government’s Chief Medical Officer has based all of his advice to us regarding dealing with C19 on robust scientific evidence. He tweeted ‘COVID-19 has gone down due to the efforts of everyone but is still in general circulation.

‘If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again. Naturally people will want to enjoy the sun but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all’.

Photo Frank Leppard

“Bournemouth saw an estimated half a million people descend on their beaches yesterday and their council declared a ‘major incident’. They simply could not cope.

“Yesterday we saw overcrowding and more fighting on our beaches. In many places social distancing was extremely difficult to implement. If we don’t continue to heed the need for the social distancing we will see a spike in the virus locally.

Photo Frank Leppard

“We must act together in the continued interests of our families, of those that have to shield and also our public sector workers in the health sector and our council workers. They are being put at further avoidable risk.

“I’m urging residents to leave the beach if they arrive and it’s already crowded. To leave the beach if it starts to get crowded. I’d like Thanet District Council to urge people not to travel to Thanet to use our beaches.

“When local businesses open on  July 4, visitors will have more to do and will therefore be more spread out which will help us all to adhere to social distancing.

Photo Mark Stanford

“Caution is needed to safeguard health. We need to continue to be vigilant about the social distancing. Overcrowded beaches are a hazard.”

According to The Independent Health Secretary Matt Hancock said yesterday that beaches could be shut if people continue to ignore social distancing rules. The comment was in response to the major incident declared in Bournemouth.


  1. TDC are completely, and wholly ineffectual in their handling of these issues. I continually email them regarding breaches of by-laws but they ignore them. The responsible departments within the council, including its leader need to be taken to task over their ignorance on these matters need to be addressed. Continuing to ‘market’ the Isles beaches is irresponsible – they need to ensure infrastructure is in place, and operated properly, to ensure they cope. If they can’t, shut the beaches and get the Police to enforce the law.

  2. What on earth is the point of TDC pontificating about what people should be doing from their Twitter account. Do you really think day trippers with no sense of responsibility will start to “follow” TDC on social media just to see what they should and shouldn’t be doing?

    Get your staff down there, on the beaches, on the entrances to the beaches, telling people what to do, hand out bin bags, ban alcohol from the beaches, get a grip of the parking situation. Basically, TDC, just do anything other than just spouting off on social media about your expectations probably manned by someone sitting in their garden away from all the carnage they are creating.

    It is totally out of control this year, if TDC can’t manage it then they should be asking for external help to do so.

    • Indeed.

      Where were the Enforcement Officers ? They could have made a fortune.

      Where was the beach inspector ?

      How many bin bags did he hand out ?

      How many announcement did he make on the tannoy to tell visitors to put their rubbish on the prom ?

      Why were the bins not emptied ?

      Where were the four security guards that were patrolling the prom for the last couple of weekends when the beach was less busy ?

      So many questions. So few answers.

      • With thousands of visitors and just as many locals intent on littering and using the streets, parks and beaches as their own personal rubbish bin there is massive potential income that could be generated by issuing fines.

        It’s about time Thanet council stopped pleading with people to take their rubbish home and instead stated issuing fines, people would soon learn to use a rubbish bin.

        • Yes – and the feeble excuse for a beach inspector does not use it to tell visitors not to leave their rubbish on the beach – only to return their deckchairs by 5.30.

          Therefore the deckchair concessionaire benefits but the beach cleaners do not – so clearly the removal of deckchairs is a greater priority than the removal of rubbish . . .

  3. The messages sent out by the government have been useless, right from the beginning.
    Boris shaking hands with people in a hospital; couldn’t be arsed to turn up for the first several COBRA meetings as cases in the UK began to rise exponentially.
    Eventually, we were asked, very nicely, if we wouldn’t mind, if we could possibly avoid it, going out to the pub, restaurant, cafe, bar.
    When that (inevitably) didn’t work, then, two weeks too late, Boris did impose the strict lockdown which saved our bacon, and infection (and death) rates began to fall.
    Then, far too early, lockdown was eased, and people in their 100,000s headed for the beaches, where there were no facilities.
    And Dominic Cummins decided to interpret the lockdown rules to suit his own purposes.
    And then far, far too early, we’re told that bubs, bars etc will reopen in July. Children back to school. Employees back to work.
    Yes, the message from the government is that it’s all over.
    It’s not.
    The UK had the worst death rate in Europe. Yesterday about 150 people died from C19.
    The country has gone mad.

    • Absolutely nailed it. The government’s response to the pandemic has been farcical, & as a result we’re now being swamped by inconsiderate morons from Medway & London, who are no doubt, bringing the coronavirus with them. Cheers Boris, you incompetent, bumbling fool.

  4. Risk assessment of trying to maintain control will mean nothing is going to happen, plus with a stretched budget in an area that usually suffers badly in hard times throwing large sums at an unsolvable problem is hardly cost effective. Dealing with the irresponsible is nigh on impossible withouthuge numbers of police and a criminal justice system willing to fine and imprison.
    Look at the party scenes on the news in london.

  5. Not just the beaches but all over Thanet rubbish is lying about, they cut the grass and hedges but never pick up the rubbish, the curbs are never swept where its needed, drains are not cleared from debris, all in all thanet council has not got a good reputation

  6. Impose a five mile rule. Local residents use beach free but anyone from outside Thanet must pay £20 to come and produce ticket if asked by a warden. This money will pay for policing, toilets and litter collection. Make certain roads Residents Only parking and enforce it with temporary barriers.

  7. Thanet district council are arseholes letting this happen, no thought for local people And this was a week day so what is weekend going to like if it’s hot?

  8. Thanet council where is the social distancing on our beach people come down and take the piss leave all there rubbish behind and you don’t do eny think about it now in enforcement officers around I guess to lazy to walk to the beach but fine people other things

  9. Looking at most of the comments it looks like blaming the government I understand their fears years ago there used to be bins on all Thanet beaches including Margate today’s generation are lazy two much trouble to walk to a bin. Two charge people from outside Thanet that would be breaking the law.Beaches are public land and part of crown estate.

    • Damn right I’m blaming the government! Unless it was you who relaxed lockdown restrictions too early??

  10. Unfortunately this has less to do with the easing of lockdown and more to do with people not working due to being furloughed and kids not returning to school. The issue of overcrowding will continue for the foreseeable future therefore. Would it not be fair to charge anyone who does not have a thanet address to use our beaches, this would raise revenue for the policing of such and cleaning the beaches and also deter people from coming from afar. Just a suggestion.

    • Just as I said too. Why shouldn’t we charge? Not for the beach but for the policing, litter collection etc.

  11. No good keep getting on at council they are waste of time and quite happy to let volunteers to put themselves at risk and do the work free of charge.Big Thank you to you all now is the time to start e-mailing our 2 M.P ‘s to put pressure on goverment to shut Beaches except for locals and to sort our council out . Our volunteers are priceless and it must be heart breaking to see this going on and the abuse they suffer . Get e-mailing everybody ! Mine done

  12. Dan whoever you are you shouldn’t call people morons and down from London and other places this is the UK people can go where they want to.This comment sounds political.And the art brigade.people are incondsiderent.TDC are a labour led council.Minority council.

    • This is the UK and in England the government has stupidly said that people can go where they want within England. I agree with Laura Probert- the government should have imposed a 5-mile restriction.

  13. Shut the beaches…. huge fines if breaches. Increase parking fines to £500. Close roads leading to beaches or permit parking only during summer months.

    • The beaches are places where local people come-most of us don’t brawl, leave litter on the beach or do anything else anti-social. many of us can’t physically get anywhere else- not everyone has a car. We need our beaches to remain open.

  14. People blame the government

    People blame TDC

    the only people to blame are the people who leave the rubbish , what you take to the beach just take the rubbish back home with you.

    Why should my council tax be used to giving out free back sacks ? Can I have some free ones for my house please !

  15. I was born and brought up in Westbrook but now live near Bournemouth so have a vested interest in both areas.

    Thanet DC could maybe do more, but if they employed more staff to monitor/fine people and empty the bins more often, there would be uproar if this extra staff cost was passed to TDC Council Tax payers.

    The Leader of Bournemouth Council said on TV this morning that the council doesn’t have the powers to just close roads, but if their did, what would happen if TDC closed the A28 and A299 to stop people getting to Margate and Ramsgate (and Broadstairs) as that would impact on locals getting to work and the shops.

    I think the biggest issue is that families are travelling maybe 1 to 2 hours (or more if traffic queues) to reach the seaside, and when their get there, they see a crowded beach and think “well we are here now”, not wanting to just turn around and head home.

    I am not an expert, but whilst imposing larger fines may be a good idea, I think TDC would need to give notice that they intend to do it i.e. it is not a case of “tomorrow the fine will be £x”

  16. Leave the rubbish and shit on the beaches for a week along with the deckchair and suitcase seen in the images and see their faces when they turn up. These inconsiderate people can come back tomorrow and lay amonst the crap they left the day before, get fines on their cars for bad parking and if not paid then next time remove the cars to the pound not to be returned unless all fees and fines are paid up, otherwise auction the vehicles and put all the money into a fund to pay for more enforcement officers and keeping our streets clean. It shouldn’t take long for these chancers to cotton on that they cannot keep doing this and getting away scott free.
    TDC are still encouraging visitors to our coastal towns despite all the expense it is putting on the councils to clean up behind them. None of these people are contributing to the local economy at present so it would be better to discourage them altogether until lockdown is over completely. Put resident only access and parking up in a controlled manner and send these chancers on their way with their picnics and rubbish they bring with them.
    It doesn’t take much thinking about to get some order back. Bring all the officers out and start patrolling the beaches, promenades and streets with parking chaos handing out fines to these lazy disrespectful people that think it is ok to dump on Thanet. Can TDC organise this effectively or are they going to keep burying their heads in the sand for ever, season after season? Will they just say the local residents can pay for all this next year when the council tax bills come out or get their lazy arses into gear immediately? There are still 3 months left of this season! Come on Councillors and officers do something positive, now!

  17. Its interesting so many want the beaches closed, and no where to park etc. Yet thanet is meant to be for tourists yet some many locals dont want the tourists on ‘their’ beaches !

    There is plenty of land to the left of botany bay for a car park. We have a lack of car parks by local beaches only joss bay has a decent size car park.

    How would you stop cars on the thanet way ? The tail backs would be for miles stopping all trade coming into thanet.

    People want more beach inspectors what a job that would be ! Getting abuse every 5 minutes, the people that leave a mess dont care about the society, even if they got nicked for abusing the staff it would only be a slap on the wrist.

    • I think the problem is we want the “right” sort of tourists. Those which come to the area, spend money in the local shops and respect the local area. Unfortunately we are getting a load of tourists who bring nothing to the area apart from social problems and spend nothing in the local shops.

      The bigger problem is that it difficult to attract one type without attracting the other.

      The even bigger problem is that the Leader of the Council declared Thanet as open to tourists in the middle of the pandemic which has led to lots of these problems.

  18. OK so we have beach patrol in place ………
    So on joso bay today I saw 2 of these people taking a nice leisurely stroll each with an ice cream.
    So I asked ” what are you going to do about the group of people drinking beer?
    Nothing we can do ,”don’t want to start an argument,
    “Oh so you going to ignore them then ?
    “Yeah pretty much ”
    Really …..
    OK enjoy your icecream wtf

  19. Thanks to all you selfish half brained. Narcissistic arse holes that think. Its OK to run amok on the beach. Sniff hippy crack. Fight. And leave your rubbish behind. You’re a disgrace to human society. A total waste of space. No decency morals or manners. You should all be rounded up. And put on the front line some where used as cannon fodder. Get a grip get a life and have some respect consideration for life and all those around you. Manners and civility cost nothing. So think on. Let’s have an open house / barbecue around you’re houses. Leave it in the same appalling conditions you think is the norm whilst visiting somebody else’s back yard.

  20. TDC cannot do right for doing wrong. Let’s do some generic fence sitting for a moment.

    Local councils, especially in seaside resorts, are under pressure from local businesses and even community groups to ‘open up’ for tourism to bring in much needed trade in the slim hope of rescuing local economies. Local councils were given absolutely NO warning from the government of the announcements about easing restrictions, effectively telling the public they could go where they want when they want, with NO time for Councils to recruit extra staff to open toilets and other public services, or buy and put in place the necessary social distancing signage, nor anticipate the phenomenal level of inconsideration that would be displayed by the general public visiting our beaches.

    The government announced reduction in restrictions on travel etc (allowing people to go to parks and beaches etc) not only without giving Councils the chance to prepare and make sure services were in place but before all the usual shops and especially the hospitality services were allowed to re-open. Meaning tourists turning up unable to spend money in the local economy but still costing the Council in clearing up operations. And people turning up without access to public facilites such as toilets as well.

    TDC might have been given a government grant towards the cost of managing lockdown (and have been criticised elsewhere for not giving that money to foodbanks), but it will no way cover the loss in revenue from parking and other sources during the lockdown period(s). Logic tells you that at least some Couoncil staff will have been off due to shielding or self-isolating or sick with COVID-19, as well as all the usual health reasons that occur normally, which will have meant employing additional staff just to cover basic services. Employing security to patrol beaches and parks around the country will be costing all Councils over and above normal expenses.

    Sure, TDC could probably have done better but there are some things we cannot blame any of our local councils for. It was the government that ordered the closure of the household tips which led to a rise in people fly-tipping which had to be cleared up by the local councils. It was the government that mis-managed the messaging in the lifting of lockdown. It’s the people who have been out fly-tipping, who have been turning up in their hordes at beaches around the country, drinking, starting fights, defecating in public and leaving mounds of rubbish behind. Not the Councils around the country who have been left to try and clear up the debris. All at a cost to local residents, some of whom are the same businesses having to put in expensive social distancing measures for people who patently couldn’t care less about it.

    I’m sure the government have been shocked by the response of parts of the general public, acting like caged animals that have suddenly been let loose and running riot. Now we know we can better prepare for the lifting of the next lockdown (because another lockdown seems inevitable at this point).

  21. Spot on,, Lennie! The government screwed up (again). It did not, among other things, take into account the result of introducing too much freedom of movement, too soon.

    A second phase of lockdown at least in some parts of the country now seems inevitable .Perhaps the government will have had time to think it out better, realize what mistakes they have made this time, listen to experts and genuinely “follow the science”- including consulting psychologists,who probably know a lot more about the possible consequences of sudden freedom than most MPs do.

  22. most of the people who run the council do not live in thanet I believe so they dont have to put up with the problems

  23. Perfect solution. Suspected WW2 bomb found on Minnis Bay beach today. Now will need to cordon off all Thanet beaches while MoD check to see if there are any others!

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