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Green schemes help transform areas of Margate following £10k Southern Water donation

Communities across Margate have received a cash boost from Southern Water as they seek to enhance their local environment. 

Communities across Margate have received a cash boost from Southern Water as they seek to enhance their local environment. 

Margate’s army of green-fingered volunteers, who take care of their beaches and gardens, are benefiting from more than £10,000 thanks to a series of grants. 

One project is 'Wilderness to Wonderland’, turning neglected areas and unused planters into beautiful cultivated spaces filled with plants and flowers, contributing to biodiversity and the wellbeing of local visitors and residents. 

Southern Water has partnered with the project, donating £3,000 to the cause and supporting the effort through its own staff volunteering. During April, our employees joined the group for an afternoon of planting.  

There is also backing of £7,000 for the Friends of Botany Bay group, for regular beach cleans. 

Toby Willison, Southern Water’s Director of Environment & Quality, said: 

“We’re always looking at ways we can support the local community and are delighted to help these groups continue their hard work keeping their areas in fantastic condition. 

“Protecting the environment is a priority for us, and we know we need to be better at playing our part in achieving that. We’re accelerating works to reduce the use of storm overflows across our entire region, and have forecast that our activity in Kent will achieve a minimum of a 20% reduction in storm overflow use in Margate, Deal and Whitstable by spring 2025.” 

Barry Manners from the Friends of Botany Bay, said: 

“Our local beaches are a recreational space for residents, an important component to the local tourism industry and a precious ecological asset for all. The support from Southern Water means we will be able to clean beaches several times a week, year-round. In the peak summer months this will be daily, as required - in addition to our volunteers' activities. 

“We plan 600 hours of paid beach cleaning; minimising litter from entering the sea and collecting it as it washes ashore. Last year we collected up tonnes of plastic along the shoreline, so it's a huge relief to know this work can continue. 

“Whilst we welcome Southern Water's support, and although we cannot ignore the need for them to strive to improve their environmental record, their engagement with us has proven transformative for our stretch of coastline. We hope this can continue and be replicated with other groups elsewhere along the Kent and Sussex coastline.” 

Following April’s afternoon of planting, Rory Waitt, of Wilderness to Wonderland, said: 

“What a wonderful afternoon for our community and to see volunteers from Southern Water come along and support us – it was brilliant, I’m looking forward to inviting Southern Water employees back again on future projects with Wilderness to Wonderland.”