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Rubbish left on beaches in Herne Bay and Whitstable as heatwave hits Kent

Empty beer bottles, plastic bags and gas cannisters were left strewn across the seafront as thousands of sun-seekers flocked to the coast.

Huge crowds descended on beaches in Herne Bay, Whitstable and Margate yesterday, among others, as revellers defied lockdown advice to soak up the rays on the hottest day of the year.

Herne Bay faces a major clean up operation Photo: Jack Newbury
Herne Bay faces a major clean up operation Photo: Jack Newbury

Weary-eyed residents woke up this morning to find their towns littered with rubbish as street cleaning services now face the mammoth task of cleaning it up.

It comes after a major incident was declared in Bournemouth on the south coast after it saw widespread anti-social behaviour and gridlocked roads. In Kent drivers queued for 18 miles on the M2 to get to the coast.

Herne Bay resident Jack Newbury described the horrific scenes as he went out for his morning walk and witnessed waste slung across the seafront.

The 17-year-old sixth former said: "It is just an ugly problem.

"The litter is a problem as an issue in that it is the most visible and the beach is in a state."

Kent's beaches and seafronts have been hit by high volumes Photo: @ChrisShdtch
Kent's beaches and seafronts have been hit by high volumes Photo: @ChrisShdtch

But he went to to add the consequences of what people have done, in defying social distancing rules, could prove even more costly.

He added: "Many young people in particular chose to ignore lockdown guidance to socialise, let off fireworks, drink and generally act irresponsibly on our seaside.

"I don't think anyone has malicious intent but I don't think people are aware of the consequences."

"I think Herne Bay, Thanet and Kent in general need to consider our role in this situation and the consequences of such actions."

The student went on to add he felt there had been "a mixed message" from the government.

"I think people have lost all respect in what the government have been saying", he said, adding they were more interesting in having a good time.

Whitstable now faces a big clean up operation Photo: @ChrisShdtch
Whitstable now faces a big clean up operation Photo: @ChrisShdtch

Elsewhere on the Kent coast Margate's Main Sands saw thousands of people cram onto the beaches in a clear flouting of the social distancing rules.

Whitstable seafront was also left strewn with litter after a day of revelry which horrified locals.

Jack said there was no getting away from the fact many residents had joined in with the festivities but he added many had travelled down for the day.

He says the locals have a word for them in Herne Bay. "We call them DFLs: Down from Londons," he said.

The sixth former said hundreds of people had come down to take advantage of holiday homes and beach huts now they were allowed to.

He said he felt sorry for Cerco the local cleaning provider now tasked with the clean up after he spoke to one of their workers this morning.

The seafront in Herne Bay was full of rubbish Photo: Jack Newbury
The seafront in Herne Bay was full of rubbish Photo: Jack Newbury

"He said it would need 100 people on the sea front to clean it up - we simply can't cover that volume."

Elsewhere 62,000 people descended on two beaches in Margate and Broadstairs and two people were stabbed at a beach rave.

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