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        Thanet District Council does more than any other council to manage seaweed along our coastline.

        To keep our beaches looking beautiful, we work very hard to remove seaweed from around our coast during the summer season.

        The council does not have a statutory duty to remove this as the deposit of seaweed is a completely natural occurrence, and seaweed is not classed as litter.

        As part of our Blue Flag requirements on our beaches, it states that algae, seaweed and other environmental debris should be left unless it constitutes a nuisance.

        However we operate a service each year to remove seaweed to ensure our beaches continue to be a fantastic place to visit.


        From May to September each year:

        • We monitor the coastline every day.
        • We attempt to clear the beaches everyday.
        • We move as fast as we can between bays.
        • We can start clearing the seaweed from 4am to ensure the beaches are clear for beach users.
        • We target the priority areas first – popular bays where there are beach huts and bathers, or areas with very high levels of seaweed.
        •  We also target areas based on daily reports from our contacts around the coast.
        • We have a dedicated officer who coordinates the removal of seaweed and a dedicated budget to cover this.
        • We hire special machinery throughout the summer to remove the seaweed – a telehandler JCB
        • On days when we have a higher amount of seaweed we bring in extra staff and machinery from our contractors to deal with the problem.
        • We continually explore opportunities to allow us to remove higher quantities of seaweed each year.

        How we remove the seaweed

        Due to strict guidelines from Natural England the council has to remove the seaweed around our coast very carefully.

        In large sandy areas, a telehandler (JCB) machine is used to collect the seaweed. This machine is hired by the council throughout the summer season.

        Although routine removal of seaweed from sandy beaches is permitted by Natural England, there are very strict guidelines from the Environment Agency in place to manage this.

        These guidelines affect which beaches and bays we can remove seaweed from, and also determine exactly where we can take the removed seaweed.

        Before and after the seaweed removal

        The council clears it up on 17/08/12:

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