|Walpole Bay Tidal Pool by Jason Orton 2004|
What's the saying? A week's a long time in politics?
Last week, Thanet District Council launched a surprise public consultation, canvassing public opinion on the proposed de-designation of Walpole Bay for bathing.
The first information released was this on January 22nd, stating:
"Thanet District Council is asking members of the public for their views on a proposal to remove water sampling tests at Walpole Bay in Cliftonville."Their reasoning to remove the water sampling was based on:
"A recent review undertaken by the council and the Environment Agency (EA) however has identified that Walpole Bay is no longer primarily used as a bathing beach. Instead,
visitors now predominantly use the beach for walking, sunbathing and to enjoy the excellent rock pooling habitats.
Activity at the beach was monitored by the EA during the last bathing water season. The results revealed that between 29 July and 3 September 2013, at the water sampling point, there were 58 visitors on the beach and of those, five swam in the sea."
“In line with our Destination Management Plan, we’re keen to make the most of Thanet’s stunning natural assets and to provide a diverse offer for our visitors.
“The area from Walpole Bay up to Botany Bay is a haven for wildlife and offers unspoilt beautiful bays which can be enjoyed all year round.
“The recent review of Walpole Bay demonstrates a clear change in visitor demand, with very little evidence of people swimming in the sea. Removing water sample tests here would mean no change in the level of service provided here and in fact would mean we could do more to positively promote the beach to a new audience.”