Planning Permission for New Paths

The Trust and Canterbury City Council are pressing ahead with plans to extend the path in Whitstable. We hope to start work on a small section of the path that will extend the Invicta Way to Old Bridge Road. Section 106 developer contribution money is already in place for this and we hope work will start in the next six months. Despite this only being a short section the plans we have are for all the paths down to The Sidings and Tower Parade. This is so that we can move quickly to get more built when extra funds become available. The Bridges are under separate planning that will be re-applied for soon.

There are currently two items on the Canterbury City Council planning portal.

CA/19/01145 Variation of Conditions, after suggestions made at the consultation a number of changes have been made. This application covers those changes.

CA//19/01194 Discharge of Conditions, the planning we were granted had a number of conditions and this is an application to have some of those conditions discharged due to their fulfilment.

We have also published a report about or Public Consultation which was held last year. It can be viewed at

2019 Tyler Hill Tunnel and Beverley Arch Visit

In May 2019, the Trust hosted a visit inside the Tyler Hill Tunnel at the south portal.  This was made possible by the kind permission of the owner, Paul Roberts.  He has spent considerable time and money, faithfully restoring the portal, as well as protecting it from vandalism.  We also required permission from Kent Bat Group’s Shirley Thompson.  This is because the tunnel is now home to bats, so access requires permission and guidance from someone with a Bat License.  We also had permission from the Archbishop’s school for access.

If you would like to visit the tunnel in the future then we give members preference, you can join here  Or Keep an eye out on or Facebook Page but we may not always advertise there if enough members take up the chance.

Some pictures from the visit.

Trustee and Tunnel Officer, John Burden, Introducing the Tunnel and other Speakers to the Visitors.
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Trust Archivist, Jonathan Baker, explaining some of the History of the Tunnel
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Shirley Thompson talking about the Bats that now live in the Tunnel.
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Visitors Entering the Tunnel.
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A vent brick placed for bats.  Although they tend to favour the gaps that have formed as the mortar around the existing bricks has decayed.
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Trust Secretary Robin Townsend showing off our plans to extend the current Foot Cycle path that runs along the old line.
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Trust Chair, William Leetham, showing the Beverley Arch to visitors.
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Embankment Clear-up Whitstable

The Crab and Winkle Line Trust and Local Residents carried out a clear-up of the old railway embankment in Whitstable on the weekend of 2nd March 2019. About 20 bags of rubbish, a shopping trolley and tyre. Thank you to all involved.

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Exhibition for Crab and Winkle extension in Whitstable

The Crab and Winkle Line Trust in partnership with Canterbury City Council will be holding an exhibition of proposals for two new bridges in Whitstable as part of the extension of the Crab and Winkle footpath and cycleway. Come to St. Peters Hall, 154 Cromwell Road, Whitstable on Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd June between 1pm and 5pm to find out more.

The scheme will include a new bridge over Teynham Road similar to the original bridge that carried the world’s first passenger steam railway.  We are also proposing a bridge over Old Bridge Road and the railway so that the path can extend all the way to The Sidings and on towards the Harbour.  The finished path will be accessible and street lit on winter evenings.

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The proposed new bridges are lower than previous designs that were given Planning Permission in 2011. New Planning Permission will be sought later this year but before then the Trust would like to show you our plans and hear your views.

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Canterbury City Council is also intending to start construction on extending the path further along the embankment in Whitstable later this year. Details of the landscaping of the paths, screening and street lighting will be on display at the exhibition and designers on hand to discuss the details

Consultation feedback email:

Cloisters 2 Oysters Sponsored 2018 Bike Ride

After last years very successful inaugural event, Rethink Mental Illness are organising a ride for 2018 with proceeds going to help & support for people affected by mental illness.  Ride a RETURN journey on Sunday 13th May, starting EITHER from The Dolphin Pub, Canterbury CT1 2AA OR from Whitstable Harbour- you choose! DEADLINE FOR COMPLETED APPLICATIONS - SUNDAY 22 APRIL 2018.For further information and application forms email: or tel: 01227 760707

Cloisters to Oysters 2018 Poster

Cloisters to Oysters Sponsored Bike Ride

The Crab and Winkle Trust are proud to be supporting the “Cloisters to Oysters” sponsored bike ride which will go along the Crab and Winkle Way from Canterbury to Whitstable and back on Sunday the 20th of August. Would you like to take part or help marshal at the event?Please see details below.  Please download and share a pdf copy of the poster: PDF Poster, or feel free to share the image below.
Cloisters to Oysters Poster

Visiting the Tyler Hill Tunnel at the South Portal

On May 20th, with kind permission from the land owner Paul Roberts and escorted by Shirley Thomson of the Kent Bat Group we took a group of people inside the disused tunnel that runs underneath what is now the University of Kent at Canterbury. Work started on the tunnel in 1825. It is the oldest purpose built passenger railway tunnel in the world and is now grade 1 star listed. Its current owner has invested a lot of time and money in restoring some of the brickwork, clearing the site (along with trust volunteers), and protecting it from vandalism. It is now the perfect home for bats so we are only allowed to visit at certain times of the year escorted by someone with a bat license. To find out more about bats please go to the Kent Bat Group website

John introducing the tunnel visit.

John introducing the tunnel visit.

Trustee Jonathan Baker giving a talk about the history of the tunnel.

Trustee Jonathan Baker giving a talk about the history of the tunnel.

Shirley Thomson from East Kent Bat Group talking about the bats that now call the tunnel home.

Shirley Thomson from East Kent Bat Group talking about the bats that now call the tunnel home.

Looking out from the Tyler Hill Tunnel South Portal towards Canterbury.

Looking out from the Tyler Hill Tunnel South Portal towards Canterbury.

Visitors about to enter the Crab and Winkle Line Tyler Hill Tunnel South Portal.

Visitors about to enter the Crab and Winkle Line Tyler Hill Tunnel South Portal.

Inside the Tyler Hill Tunnel on the Crab and Winkle Line.

Inside the Tyler Hill Tunnel on the Crab and Winkle Line.


The Crab and Winkle Trust announces Canterbury City Council funding to work on the Crab and Winkle Way in Whitstable.

Following a decision by its Regeneration and Property Committee, Canterbury City Council has allocated £150,140 of Section 106 money to start work on the extension of the Crab and Winkle Way in Whitstable. The money will be spent on environmental surveys and care of all wildlife identified on sections of the historic Canterbury-to-Whitstable railway in Whitstable.  Design work will now be completed and it is hoped that construction can start later in 2017 to extend the current Crab and Winkle Way (which now stops towards the top of All Saints’ Close) to Old Bridge Road and Whitstable railway station.

The land is owned partly by Kent County Council and partly by the local charity, the Crab and Winkle Line Trust, set up in 1997 to promote the history of the line and to bring it back into public use. The Trust has planning approval to extend the current cyclepath and footpath towards the Harbour and intends to build bridges over Old Bridge Road and Teynham Road in Whitstable and extending the path.

The section 106 money, obtained from the developers of the Huyck residential development on the Old Thanet Way, will be spent by the Council to make sure that building a low-impact footpath would not adversely risk Whitstable’s flora or fauna.

Marcial Boo, chair of the Trust, said: “This £150,000 is good news for residents who will enjoy improved traffic-free access to local shops, industry and schools. And it’s great that the Council is working in partnership with local charities to improve Whitstable for its residents and visitors. But there is still over £2 million that the Trust needs to raise if we want to extend the current path over the railway line and Teynham Road. Our work to raise this money will carry on.”

Details about the Trust and its work are at:

2016 Embankment Clear-up

Thank you to everyone who helped at our clear-up of the Crab and Winkle embankment between Clare Road and Station Road in Whitstable on Saturday 27th Feb. Lots of local residents helped at the clear-up and helped with posting flyers.  Thankyou also to Transition Town Whitstable for advertising the event and to Canterbury City Council for providing equipment and removal of the rubbish.

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Railway Embankment Clear-up

The Crab and Winkle Line Trust are organising a clear-up of the old railway embankment between Clare Road and Station Road on Saturday 27th February between 10am and 2pm. When you arrive please see a member of the trust and sign in so that you are briefed and insured.

We have chosen the 27th of February as it is before the main bird nesting season.

Any time you can spare to help will be highly appreciated. School age children are very welcome but must be supervised by a parent or guardian at all times.

The council are providing us with gloves, litter pickers and sacks and will pick up any rubbish we collect.

Please wear suitable clothing and footwear. If you have a high-vis vest/jacket and work gloves, please bring them with you as we only have a limited number available.

We have recently surveyed the site and have asked Serco to remove some fly-tipped material. Please do let us know if you see anyone dumping more rubbish.

For more information email