Management Scheme

The Management Scheme in a cockle shell!

The Thanet coast is internationally important for its bird and marine life and deserves the highest protection possible. The North East Kent coast has numerous nature conservation designations. But the coast is also important for many other reasons – thousands of people live there and many thousands more visit each year.

Everything we do has an effect on the coastline and the Scheme was established to monitor that effect, by looking at each activity and examining whether it harmed the important coastal features and wildlife and what to do about it. The scheme was developed at a series of workshops, involving those who participated in the various activities making decisions about the future management of the coastline.


The original North East Kent European Marine Site Management Scheme was launched in 2001. The scheme included an action plan up until 2006 in which all the ‘Relevant Authorities’ (that formed the Management Group) were responsible for implementing the action – with progress updated each year.

The main philosophy of the scheme was to use stakeholder consensus building techniques and try a voluntary approach to management wherever possible. The scheme launched a new coastal wildlife project (Thanet Coast Project), developed a set of voluntary coastal codes, started to work with local people (voluntary Coastal Wardens scheme), and set up an Advisory Group.

Revisions & new Action Plans

The Scheme was reviewed using stakeholder dialogue workshops during 2006 and incorporated a wider ‘ecosystem approach’ perspective – and included a new overview and action plan for 2007-2012.

The next phase with the 2013-18 Action Plan with stakeholders and partners included a number of main actions to promote research and action on ‘Non-native species’. This action plan also included the rebranding of the European marine site – to incorporate the new Thanet Coast Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) – as the North East Kent Marine Protected Area.

More information can be found about these stages here:


New Action Plan 2019-24

A new draft Action Plan has been agreed by the the NEKMPA Management Group of relevant authorities for the next 6 years from 2019 to 2024.


Links to other plans:

– Kent Biodiversity Strategy (2020-45) (MPAs/ intertidal & subtidal chalk / reference species)

Making Space for Nature (2023, KCC & partnership)

– Thanet Local Plan 2020 & Strategic Access Management & Monitoring Plan – SAMM (TDC)

– Shoreline Management Plan 10 Isle of Grain to South Foreland (EA)

– Kent Climate Change Risk and Impact Assessment & Kent Environment Strategy (KCC)

– South East Marine Plan (MMO)

Sandwich and Pegwell Bay National Nature Reserve (KWT)

Climate Change – Thanet: