The foul stench of piles of rotting seaweed washed up on popular Kent beaches is putting some residents off leaving their homes.
At least a Thousand tonnes of smelly kelp has shored up in Thanet, leaving vast stretches of coast with an acrid scent, over the past week.
Minnis Bay in Birchington is the latest to become inundated, where rotting algae has turned the sand into a deep shade of green.
A spokesperson for the prominent Minnis Bay, Bar and Brasserie on The Parade said business has not been affected but some people are reluctant to go outside.
“More people are commenting on it now, it has been going on for about a week or a week-and-a-half, the smell is not far off sewage,” they explained.
“Obviously the smell is worse when the tide is out, and then there is the warm weather which adds to it.
“The council was trying to clear it up this morning but there is just so much. The smell isn’t affecting trade but it is a real problem.”
A Thanet District Council (TDC) spokesman said it has scooped up more seaweed in five weeks than it usually would in a whole summer.
Typically, it collects 400 and 800 tonnes in a whole season, but since the beginning of July 1,000 tonnes have been cleared.
Residents have shared their frustrations on social media.
“Believe me, the smell is disgusting,” one Facebook user explained.
“I live in Epple Bay and I have to keep the windows and doors shut, we can’t sit in our garden.
“Don’t get me started about the flies – we should be able to enjoy our homes in the summer.”
Another added: “As a local, I don’t mind and I know it goes away, but I think this is really impacting on local businesses - all the beaches are the same all the way round to Broadstairs.”
One visitor went on: “That’s the worst I have ever seen it down there! No wonder it’s got a slight smell to it.”
As the marine algae breaks down, it releases a foul smell.
It is understood various environmental conditions including wind direction, sea temperatures and tidal states affect the amount of the weed which ends up on shores.
TDC has already cleared Minnis Bay three times in the last few weeks, but the beach had a large influx on Monday.
A council spokesman explained: “There has been an unusually large amount of seaweed washed up on our beaches this season.
“ We have collected 1,000 tonnes over the five weeks from the beginning of July, including visiting Minnis Bay three times prior to this week to remove large amounts of seaweed.
“We usually collect between 400 and 800 tonnes in a whole season.”
The local authority believes the new deposit has been caused by wind and tidal conditions in the area.
“We are in the process of clearing as much of this as possible, within our licence conditions today,” the spokesman continued.
“It's hard to pinpoint exactly what has caused the higher amounts of seaweed to be deposited on our beaches this year.
“It is affected by various environmental conditions including wind direction, sea temperatures and how the wind direction/speed has coincided with tidal states.”