Monday, March 30, 2015

Kingdown Beach Clean 29th March Report

Three community minded villagers were responsible for organising the event, and came down to the beach despite an hour’s less sleep, armed with a gazebo, tables, hot and cold refreshments, and of course litter pickers, gloves and bags which were on loan from DDC.

Despite the damp and windy conditions, 60 or so people of all ages turned up to help collect accumulated rubbish in an area from the sea to the road, and Oldstairs Bay to Boundary Road. The sun came out at one point, but the wind decided to take down the gazebo a little early! Refreshments of teas and coffees were on offer for the volunteers who had braved the elements.

The willing volunteers, who came from Ringwould, Deal, and Bridge among other locations, and of course Kingsdown, offered a few observations on the most common items collected. They had picked up fishing tackle and tangled fishing lines, glass and plastic bottles, the soles of shoes, baby wipes, scraps of material, and many plastic food wrappers. In addition to these items, everyone felt that the campaign saying ‘there is no such thing as the poo fairy’ definitely needs to be repeated.

We finished with about 50 sacks, a lobster pot, a car wheel and a traffic cone, all of which Dover District Council collected after the event.

Thank you again to all those who braved the weather, to the village hall for the loan of the cups, to Mark Thomas for the gazebo, Jane Banks for the camping stove, Helen Williams for the extra rubbish sacks, and to DDC for the loan of the equipment. We hope everyone enjoys our litter free beach now the summer is coming!

Helen Williams, Jane Banks, and Mark Thomas

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Meadow making today at Deal Rail Station

We had the second part of our meadow making at the Deal Station Meadow this Sunday Afternoon .

11 volunteers out to do the sowing of the Hay Meadow.

This involved mixing the seed with sand and doing a spot of line-shaffling up and down the meadow.

Beach Cleans in Deal & Kingsdown

Despite the challenging weather (and time for some :) ) there was a fantastic turnout to both the Deal and Kingsdown Bleach Cleans

In Deal we cleaned around the Sandown Castle end of the Beach - in about 1.5hrs our 20 volunteers collected 20bags weighing some 76kgs. As it was so wet and windy we decided it was difficult enough without trying to do the MCS log sheets.

There was a lot of decarded fishing line found.

The Beach Clean in Kingsdown had a amazing 60 volunteers out this morning and collected over 50 bags of rubbish, plus some interesting large objects, in just over 2hours. It was very windy on the beach and the team nearly lost their gazebo!

The clean was organised by local Kingsdown residents Helen Williams, Jane Banks and Mark Thomas

Helen, Jane and Mark organisers of Kingsdown Beach Clean

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Two Beach Cleans in Deal & Kingsdown this Sunday

There are two beach cleans this Sunday 29th March both starting at 10am in Deal: great community spirit in Deal! 


Kingsdown Beach
Meet outside the Zetland Pub @ 10am to about Noon
Organised by Helen Williams and Jane Banks
Beach Clean only

Deal Beach
Meet at Sandown Castle end @ 10am for about 1.5hr
Deal With IT/ Marine Conservation Society - Beach Warden: Wendy Boorman
Part of the MCS Quarterly monitoring of what is happening on our coastline so we will be logging what we find. Bags, gloves and pickers all supplied

Weather is likely to windy with some showers so please dress warm and dry!

Victoria's Green Matters - 26th March 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

‘There are three things that should go into toilets. Put it crudely: pee, poo and paper’ stated a spokeswoman from Keep Britain Tidy. The findings in a recent report about litter on our beaches from the Marine Conservation Society have shown that the number of wet wipes appearing has more than doubled between 2013 and 2014. These cleaning cloths are non-biodegradable so that every time they are put down the loo, they are destined to re-appear on a beach somewhere. Thirty five wipes were found for every kilometre of beach.

Our ‘disposable society’ is responsible for the move towards items that we use once and throw away but apart from this being extremely wasteful with regard to resources, it creates lots more litter because items are not disposed of properly.

Wet wipes do not disintegrate when flushed down the toilet, despite the packaging telling us that they are ‘flushable’ because they contain plastic. They cause many problems within the sewage system where they mix with fat to form blockages which have to be cleared to prevent raw sewage overflowing into rivers and the sea.

Wet wipes also impact on ecosystems. We are lucky enough to have five of the world’s species of turtles visiting our cooler, nutrient rich waters in which to feed but turtles often mistake plastic bags for jellyfish, their natural prey, with fatal results. Wet wipes present a similar problem.

Wet wipes are a convenient way to deal with spills, but please, don’t put them down the loo!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Richborough Power Lines Consultation end 27th March

 Consultation for the new larger pylons from Richborough to Canterbury thru the Ash Levels ends on March 27th

For further details go to: National Grid site

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Greenpeace supporting local Kent Fisheries

We are calling on all the local politicians in this area to show that they support sustainable fishermen and protection of our seas. We want to them to show their support by becoming a ‘coastal champion’ and signing a flag. We are bringing our fishing boat - Rising Tide - along the Kent Coast this week and inviting our parliamentary candidates to meet us and local fishermen. You can show your support and meet the politicians at the following places:

Hastings - 6pm on Wednesday 25th March at The Classroom-on-the-Coast, Rock-a-nore Road, Hastings.

Folkestone - 6pm on Friday 27th March at The Pullman Inn, 9 Church Street, Folkestone.

Ramsgate - 11am (Family fun day) on Saturday 28th March at Pier Yard, Off Marine Parade, Ramsgate

Whitstable - 6pm on Monday 30th March at The Hotel Continental, 29 Beach Walk, Whitstable.

In July 2014, we launched a joint coastal action plan ‘Championing coastal waters and communities’ which put in place Greenpeace and Nutfa (New Under Ten Metres Fishermen Association) priorities for implementation of the common fisheries policy. The action plan has five steps that we want the government to take:

  1. Reallocate quota to local, sustainable fishermen;
  2. Restore fish stocks;
  3. Protect the marine environment;
  4. Prioritise access for low impact fishermen in the 0 – 12 nautical miles territorial waters of the UK;
  5. Make sure small scale fishermen are represented on regional committees in Europe. 

We piled a lot of pressure on the fisheries minister, and many people from coastal communities got involved. Volunteers were active in Cornwall and collected an amazing 2,000 signatures on paper petitions. But in January the government failed to allocate the 2015 fishing quota along new environmental, social and economic criteria in the way required by European law, and instead it was business as usual.

There is a lot of buzz around the significance of coastal constituencies in the general election, since many are marginal. In many ways this is a good thing for us, since we want to make fishing, and the plight of sustainable fishermen, a key local election issue in the run up to the general election. The uncertainty in these constituencies means MPs and PPCs (prospective parliamentary candidates) are going to be keen to show voters that they’ll fight for their interests.

Please visit our boat - Rising Tide - in Hastings, Folkestone, Ramsgate and Whitstable and show your support for our fishing community.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sandown Castle Community Garden


In October 2014 my husband John and I noticed what a mess Sandown Castle ruins looked as it has been overgrown and uncared for for many years.
After much discussion and deliberation and living so close by we decided to do something about it and set up Sandown Castle Community Garden Group.

We had some response from the local community willing to help us.

After talking to many of our friends we found that most of them had never even walked to the castle ruins as they thought there wasn't anything nice there to see.

Our vision is to create an attractive eye catching formal Summer display to encourage people to take a walk along the seafront to see what we have all been up to.
Dover District Council kindly cleared some of the larger weeds from the site and arranged for permission from English Heritage for us to proceed with the preparation of the former tiered gardens at the beginning of January 2014

Since then our small group have planted over 3000 donated bulbs in the grass on the first tier down.
We have been very busy tidying up the paved areas and steps and have started clearing the grass back to the top soil in the former flowerbeds which were planted and at their best in 1950's.

As these haven't been dug since around the 1970's it's been a very difficult task for our small group.

At the end of May we hope to be planting the lower levels with geraniums ready for the Summer and the top will be left with the wild sea thrift and other wild plants.

We have started raising money to pay for plants and items we need as since we started we have been using our own money to fund this project. Deal Lioness Group are running a quiz night in April on our behalf and Deal Lions have offered to help us out soon with a donation.

We don't have any water on site so we are busy trying to come up with ideas on the logistics of achieving this. If anyone has a water bowser and could help us water occasionally please contact us.

If there are any other local community fundraising groups or individuals who would like to make a small donation to help our project please do get in touch with us. We would be most grateful for any assistance.

If anyone would like to join our voluntary group to help with digging and planting please contact us - Linda & John Ford on 07751 362949

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Deal Big Dig Day 2 - Nearly there .... :)

Thank you to Ade,Sue,Dave, Ros, Jill, Stuart, Charles and Steve for volunteering on the 2nd day of  

Only a little bit still to do - hoping to get that done later in week - we will confirm the seed sowing later in the week.

Lots of appreciative comments from passers by and rail users today ...

Gleaning Coordinator for Kent

Feedback's Gleaning Network UK are recruiting! Do you have what it takes to coordinate volunteers saving literally tonnes of fruit and veg from going to waste on farms, for those suffering from food poverty around Kent??

We're looking for a Kent gleaning coordinator to build on the amazing work Rachel has been doing, and lead the glean revolution around the Kent region! The spring harvests are soon coming in, so it's a really exciting time to join the project! Could it be you? Please share to anyone you think could be a lean mean gleaning machine in and around Kent!

APPLY HERE! Deadline is Monday 6th April

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Deal Big Dig - Deal Station Meadow Making 21st March

We been meadow making again on the Waste land near Deal Rail Station this morning on the first part of 'Deal's Big Dig'.

In 2014 we did an area of about 80sq m as Poppy Meadow to mark the start of WW1.

This year we have extended the area to about 95sqm and are planting a perennial Hay Meadow. This will take a couple of years to establish but will reduce the amount of annual digging that needs to be done. We will plant out some annual meadow seeds for poppies and cornflowers to brighten things up for the first year.

This will be a great resource for wildlife and pollinators as well as looking great.

Big, Big thanks to our 15 volunteers who helped this morning - the digging was hard and felt more like archaeology at times with all the rubble (the site was the old ticket office demolished in ealy 1970s).

We also managed to relocate one of the Ramsgate Platform Planters to further up the platform.

We will be out again on Sunday from 10am to about 12ish - Very welcome to join us.

We will be sowing the meadows probably on Sunday 29th March about 2pm - we need about 10 people to help and should only take about 30 minutes

We will be also looking at the other meadow areas nr BT Exchange and Car park later on.

If you want to get involved email sarah

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Victoria's Green Matters 19th March 2015

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

There is an important new campaign running at the moment called 'Keep it in the Ground' and this relates to leaving fossil fuels in the ground because burning them would cause catastrophic climate change.

The forthcoming climate summit in Paris will be the most important so far, as time is fast running out if we are to try and limit the world's temperature rise to 2°C. One of the most important subjects that will need to be discussed is hunger. Wheat and barley harvests are declining, caused by climate change. Although the effects are only just being felt, scientists have been warning of the consequences for thirty years. Within ten years many people from many nations could be subject to chronic food and water shortages. Modern agriculture destroys topsoil and together with overgrazing and drought our farmland is being degraded at an alarming rate. Land the size of a family farm is being abandoned every minute and food supplies are therefore threatened.

By 2100, the world could be home to 12 billion people. If we continue to burn fossil fuels at the rate we are, temperatures will have risen by 4°C and sea level rise will be about a metre. So less available land will be expected to provide even more food for more people and we are looking at a conflict ridden world.

Of course, solutions exist to these problems but they are not easy ones. We need global co-operation and a resolution to 'Keep it in the Ground'.