North East Kent Coast

The Thanet coast: a great place for wildlife

The Thanet Coast, together with Pegwell Bay, is an internationally important place for wintering birds and the marine life associated with the chalk cliffs, caves, reefs and sandy bays. It is also nationally important for the geology, the chalk stacks and arch, and some of the area’s coastal plants.

This website is run by the Thanet Coast Project at Thanet Council on behalf of the partnership on the Management Group of responsible authorities for the various nature designations known as the North East Kent Marine Protected Area (NEKMPA) – which includes the North East Kent European Marine Site (NEKEMS) and the more recent Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ).

This site includes the management and action plans for the NEKMPA and projects such as the Thanet Coast Project, that works with local people to help safeguard the wildlife and the coastlines’ unique features

North East Kent Coast

The coastline is predominantly urbanised with the main seaside towns of Whitstable, Herne Bay to Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate – within the Isle of Thanet (population, 127,000) – and Sandwich towards the south of the area.

There is intense recreational and visitor use, with two million tourists a year visiting Thanet alone, and then two ports, several small harbours, fishing activity, seawalls, and waste treatment works – all add to the various pressures faced along the coastline and by its marine and bird life.

The former island of Thanet has a great wealth of heritage connections and testaments to some of these still exist, such as the former Roman forts at Reculver and Richborough, which were situated on the mainland on either side of the Isle.