A series of events to raise awareness of the thousands of winter migratory birds that come to the Thanet coast are taking place this month and throughout the winter. Two new engagement officers will lead free educational events at various locations along the Thanet and Canterbury coastline in a new eye-catching Bird Wise van.
Designed to help people wise up to bird disturbance, the events will teach the public about the perilous journey birds make each winter and why it is important that they are given room to roost, rest, and recuperate whilst visiting us in Thanet. These birds travel from as far as Canada from across the Arctic tundra to feed on our shores.
As well as travelling along the coast for the public events, the Bird Wise team will also be driving to schools across Thanet and Canterbury district to deliver lessons to pupils.
Winter pit-stops will be made at the following locations (all walks begin at 1.30pm):
Friday 22 October – Margate Main Sands (Walk and Talk)
Tuesday 2 November – Viking Bay
Friday 5 November – Pegwell Bay (Walk & Talk )
Monday 8 November – Minnis Bay (Walk & Talk)
Tuesday 9 November – Droit House, (Walk & Talk)
Thursday 18 November – Walpole Bay
Friday 19 November – Botany Bay (Walk & Talk)
Tuesday 23 November – Dumpton Gap
Thursday 25 November – Epple Bay
Friday 26 November – Pegwell Bay (Walk & Talk)
Monday 29 November – Minnis Bay (Walk & Talk)
Thursday 1 December – Ramsgate Main Sands
Friday 2 December – Margate Sands Droit House (Walk & Talk)
All event details are available via @BirdwiseEK on Twitter and Facebook, and also on the Birdwise East Kent website. Please note: event timings are subject to change due to the tide times. Please check the website or social media for updates in the days before the date of the event you wish to attend.
Cllr Bob Bayford, Thanet District Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services & Special Projects said:“We all need to wise up to bird disturbance. Thanet’s beautiful coastline plays host to thousands of winter migratory birds and I’m confident that Bird Wise’s education and engagement will teach us how to enjoy the coast responsibly and to ensure that birds continue to winter here for generations to come.”
Bird Wise East Kent has also organised free activities for the half term holidays:
Monday 25 October: Pegwell Bay, with Kent Wildlife Trust nature activities.
Tuesday 26 October: Reculver, with ‘Anna Outdoors’ Wise Birds Games and Activities
Thursday 28 October: Monkton Nature Reserve
Friday 29 October: Canterbury Library at the Beaney Canterbury, with Wise Birds Games and Activities.
The artwork for Bird Wise’s van was created by Kent based artist Nigel Wallace of White One Sugar (whiteonesugar.co.uk). Nigel has been working with Bird Wise East Kent since 2019 when the project started and has created the artwork on lots of Bird Wise East Kent’s content.
You can keep up to date with Bird Wise East Kent on their social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube). Alternatively, you can join the mailing list or Savvy Sea Dogs and get a free goody bag. Members receive tips on how to enjoy the coast with your dog and access to events, coastal walks and free dog training.
So the birds migrate to our shores, but then leave again, shame the humans don’t do the same in their dinghys.