Visit for news and views about Herne Bay.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Beach Hut Threat

Here we go again! Despite the massive support for the Village Green application, and the clear message that Herne Bay wants the Downs unspoilt, the Council is thinking of putting up beach huts. See:

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Village Green for Herne Bay

The Village Green application that will protect The Downs forever (if it succeeds) has finally made it to the front of the queue. Kent County Council have advertised the application in the Kentish Gazette, thus starting the 6 week consultation period. An impressive 1,181 people have taken the trouble to sign witness statements saying they want The Downs to be a village green. It's probably the largest village green application that KCC has ever received.

We now need to persuade Canterbury City Council to give us our village green. If they support the application, we could have our village green in a matter of weeks. If they fight the application, it could drag on for years, and we may never get our village green. Click here to find out how you can help Herne Bay get the village green we want.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010


The Save Our Downs blog is upping sticks and scampering off to, a new website of my own concoction, where it will be able to snuggle up to assorted other campaigns, hobbyhorses and bonnet-bound bees. In NewBizSpeak, the critical mass will synergistically trigger tipping points. In English, it may be a good way of getting things done. is about, for, and by Herne Bay. The aim of the new site is to:
  • celebrate the great, good and quirky things that our town has to offer, and to make that information readily available to all the people who live here, and everyone who visits
  • highlight the things that need fixing, improving, or stopping
  • provide a contact point and discussion forum for anyone with ideas and actions that will help with either of the above.
Click on the link, have a look around and let me know what you think.

Best regards,


Saturday, 13 March 2010

A spring in your step

Yes, folks, the pages have been flying off the calendar and it's time for another Bounds of The Downs walk. This one celebrates The Downs as winter turns to spring.

The Spring (or Vernal) Equinox apparently happens at exactly 17:32 on the 20th March this year, and the Bounds of The Downs traditionally happens on the nearest Sunday, so Sunday 21st March is the day, starting from the King's Hall at 10am.

Back by popular demand will be the Quizzical Treasure Trail, complete with (wait for it, wait for it!) a complementary commemorative pencil for the early birds. Gosh! Gasp! You feel loved and pampered now, don't you?

The plan is to go clockwise, starting from the King's Hall. The full tour of The Bounds of The Downs is about 3¼ miles, but there are shorter routes. The red shortcut, up the Hundred Steps, brings it down to a very manageable 1¼ miles. The yellow shortcut, up the slope leading to The Lees makes a 1¾ mile circuit.

The long-range weather forecast is mild and dry, so come along and enjoy The Downs and the start of Spring.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Beach: cleaner

A motley crew of hardy local volunteers scoured the shoreline by The Downs, Herne Bay last Sunday in a regular beach clean and rubbish survey. It was pure happenstance that we weren't out the previous week, when we would have been drenched and frozen in a howling north-easterly. As it was, we had a lovely bright morning - "brilliant blue sunshine" as my Gran would say.

Unsurprisingly, picking up all this crap changes (or perhaps just hardens) my opinion of rubbish and rubbishers. Crisp bags are evil. Ever wondered how it is that crisps can stay crunchy for months in the bag, but soggify within hours of exposure to real life? The answer, my friend, is blowing along our beaches. Crisp bags are made of some kind of micro-engineered multi-layer laminate that (a) would put NASA to shame, and (b) is as impervious to the forces of Nature as an artefact from an alien civilisation. If you seek immortality, just print your name on a bloody crisp bag.

Cotton buds: bastard little things. For reasons that escape me, some people automatically flush their used cotton buds down the loo. The filtering systems in the sewage works are, of course, designed with turds and turdlets in mind. The cotton buds fly like miniature safety javelins through the grills and meshes, and down the pipes to the open sea. The cottony ends obligingly disintegrate, but the little plastic sticks just bob around forever. There's millions of them all round the British coast, simply because people don't have the wit to bin them rather than flushing them. If there are bio-degradable cotton buds with wooden or cardboard sticks, they should be compulsory.

Apparently, ships sailing out of Tilbury are major culprits for littering the sea, and not just with cotton buds and crisp bags - I'm guessing the plastic cutlery is theirs. I am reliably informed by wise seadogs that it's standard practice for ships in port to use a large oil drum or two as an all-purpose rubbish bin, and then empty the lot overboard as they leave the estuary for the open sea. Scumbags.