Update: Fantastic that we have reached our first target so quickly, the campaign has achieved incredible momentum, thank you to everyone who has donated so far. With the funds we are buying specialist advice to help us fight this battle. Please, please keep giving: we are accessing further expertise and every pound donated makes a valuable contribution. Please help by spreading the word. Thank you. #saveourbeach #whitstablebeach
Whitstable Beach Campaign is fighting to save the town's beach which is described by Kent Wildlife Trust as ‘a rare and fragile habitat’. It has numerous national and international environmental protections including SSSI, SPA and RAMSAR because the foreshore is crucial to our migrating wetland birds that feed on the richness of the mud flats.
It is also a beloved open space enjoyed by the public since time immemorial. When the tide is in and the birds have flown, the area is incredibly popular for sunbathing, paddling, swimming, water sports and leisure.
This is now under threat from the industrial sized oyster farm just off Whitstable beach, built without planning permission using hazardous metal racks and plastic mesh sacks, pile driven into the seabed. Whitstable's famed reputation for oysters is being commercially exploited with large-scale production of a non-native species called the pacific or rock oyster. By comparison, the Whitstable Native Oyster for which the town is historically known, grows naturally on the seabed out to sea.
Due to our warming seas the pacific/rock oyster now grows prolifically and can escape the trestles and colonise huge areas of foreshore threatening biodiversity. . The pacific/rock oysters sharp shells can cut feet making areas enjoyed by the community for leisure impassable and dangerous.
The vast array of metal trestles used by the farm (we believe now the biggest in England) has created a huge no-go zone putting everyone enjoying the sea and our wildlife at risk. And the owners have been vocal about their plans to continue to grow the farm, making Whitstable beach an industrial zone.
The Beach Campaign is fighting this development at the forthcoming public inquiry.
The public inquiry into the Whitstable oyster trestle farm begins on 26th July 2021. Whitstable Beach Campaign have been working voluntarily to fight the ongoing expansion of the trestles but we now need funds to support the legal fees associated with the public inquiry.
Please donate what you can.