The Thanet Coast Project is marking its 20th anniversary of raising awareness of the isle’s coastline and the marine and bird life associated with it in a way that is fun and accessible for everyone.
Thanet’s coastline is the longest stretch of coastal chalk in Britain and represents 20% of the UK’s and 12% of Europe’s coastal chalk.
It is covered by numerous nature conservation designations and is a significant part of the North East Kent Marine Protected Area.
Over the last two decades, the Thanet Coast Project has run more than 400 public educational events, involving over 20,000 participants. Through community events, activities and public exhibitions, it has directly engaged with over 100,000 people.
The project has also trained some 150 volunteer Coastal Wardens who are the ‘eyes and ears’ of the local coastline and help with various aspects from reporting incidents to helping run educational events. It was the first Marine Protected Area to enable local people to produce their own set of voluntary Thanet Coastal Codes to help reduce the impact of their activities on the marine designation.
To celebrate the reopening of activities, the Thanet Coastal Project is organising a range of summer events to explore shore life and learn about conservation that will be of interest to both residents and visitors alike.
‘Seashore Safari’, an opportunity to explore Thanet’s fascinating rock pools and chalk shore
‘Seaweed and their Secrets’, a walk and talk with expert Ian Tittley
‘Smugglers Trail’, a step back in time to discover how the coast was formed over 80 million years ago with Richard Hubbard.
The Thanet Coast Project will also be running an exhibition at the Visitor Information Centre at Droit House on the Margate Harbour Arm. The exhibition will focus on the family seaside activity of rockpooling. The event runs from now until Tuesday, August 3 and entry is free.
The aim of the summer programme is to provide family-friendly, low cost educational activities that will spark everyone’s interest in Thanet’s coastline, encouraging us to reconnect with nature for the benefit of our physical and mental wellbeing.
The events will have reduced numbers than in previous years to improve social-distancing and will be conducted following COVID-19 guidelines. Places must be pre-booked online at Thanet Coast Project website.
Thanet council’s Cabinet member for Environmental services Cllr Bob Bayford said: “The Thanet Coastal Project’s passion, commitment and expertise is second to none. For 20 years, it has been educating individuals and families about our beautiful coastline and its wildlife.
“I would like to congratulate the team and its wonderful volunteers for reaching this significant milestone. 20 years is quite an achievement, and the figures speak for themselves about how many people have enjoyed their events and activities.”