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High and dry at new clifftop hide

Twitchers can enjoy a new warm and dry hide while birdwatching at Margate, thanks to Southern Water.

The company has built the hide into the recently upgraded treatment works at Foreness Point Headworks.

This has been part of £80 million of improvements to the Margate and Broadstairs Wastewater Treatment Scheme to ensure the seas are cleaner.

There is wheelchair access to the clifftop hide which is a favourite spot for the Thanet RSPB Group.

It is a good vantage point for spotting migrating seabirds and resident waders, as well as winter visitors including purple sandpipers and turnstones.

Keith Jeffery, Southern Water senior project manager said: “While we were carrying out work at Foreness Point, we had to remove the old bird hide to ensure visitor safety, but we hope the new hide will prove a popular place for the local bird-watchers again.”

Paul Hale, of Thanet RSPB, said: “We are delighted with the new hide, which makes a wonderful place to view some of the fantastic sea birds that visit the Thanet shores.

“The bird hide is available for our members to use throughout the year and will be particularly welcome during the cold winter months.”

The recently completed Southern Water scheme means up to 70 million litres of wastewater can be treated at its Weatherlees Hill Wastewater Treatment Works in Ramsgate.

Wastewater from Margate and Broadstairs now undergoes several additional treatment processes, including disinfection by ultra-violet light, greatly improving the quality of water released back to the sea.

The wastewater is pumped to the treatment works along an 11km pipeline. Once the water has undergone a thorough treatment process at the site, it is sent back along a second, parallel pipeline and out to sea at Foreness Point.

Anyone interested in joining the Thanet RSPB can contact Dave Blaskett on 01843 853707

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