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 2 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

Christmas Drinks

Please join us on Wednesday 9th December from 7pm onwards at the Peter Cushing in Whitstable.  It will be an informal gathering, open to all.  Please do come along and chat about the line, its history, present or future uses, any ideas you may have or perhaps you would like to find out more about the trust.

Planning Update

Last night Canterbury City Council Planning Committee removed a condition on the Crab and Winkle Line Trust’s successful planning application (CC/15/01614/VAR) to extend the Crab and Winkle Way path from the railway to the harbour in Whitstable. The condition had meant that the Trust could not start work on a path until the bridge over Teynham Road had been completed.

The Committee heard residents’ concerns that the path might be built to the edge of the bridge abutments, leaving a high drop to the road beneath. The Trust has no intention of doing anything so irresponsible. We will not build any paths along the route that are inaccessible until the bridges over Teynham Road and the railway are planned and funded.

The Committee heard how the Trust intends to re-submit a new planning application for the bridges next year, given that our earlier successful application has now lapsed. The new planning application will take advantage of new developments in low-level lighting and screening. All existing plans to plant thousands of new shrubs and trees along the route will stay in place.

After debate and legal advice, and while recognising residents’ concerns, the Committee agreed that the Trust ought to be allowed to get on with our project to extend the popular footpath and cycle path. They commended the quality of our planning documents and agreed that the Crab and Winkle Way was an asset to the town. The lifting of the planning condition means that the Trust can now take action, where appropriate, to improve local links along the route so that they become safer and more usable.

If you would like any more information, would like to help, or have some thoughts on the project, then we would be very glad to hear from you.  Please email us at

Please Join us for Party On The Path

Sunday 13th September 11am to 4pm.

Winding Pond, Clowes Wood.

Party on the Path is a joint birthday party to celebrate 185 years since the Crab and Winkle line was opened and 20 years of the National Cycle Network.

Come and join us on Sunday 13th September in the middle of the Crab and Winkle Way at the Clowes Wood winding pond for a day full of fantastic activities for all ages.

Delicious food stalls, local beer and cider, Dr Bike, nature trail, sound safari, smoothie bike, Fred Flintstone bike building and more…

The main activities will be from 11am to 4pm with The Lord Mayor of Canterbury, Councillor Sally Waters, cutting the free birthday cake at around 1pm.

Make your own way there or join one of our 10am cycle rides from Canterbury and Whitstable, or the Heritage Open Day walk from Canterbury University.

The event is being organised by Sustrans, The Crab and Winkle Line Trust, Spokes East Kent, The Freewheel Pub Graveney, Abbot’s Mill Project and Discovery Catering.

For more information about the event, bike rides and walk contact



The Beverley Farm Footpath Arch by John Burden

LOCATED at Beverley Meadow, Canterbury.

The Beverley Farm Footpath Arch was built between 1825 and 1830 during the construction of the Canterbury to Whitstable Railway to provide safe access for cattle and pedestrians from the Beverley Dairy Farm underneath the actual railway line embankment which passed through the Beverley Dairy Farm.  The black and white  Beverley Farm House still stands nearby today.

The Arch was initially known as Hanover Arch being close to Hanover Road now known as Roper Road.

The Arch was intact with portals until the early 1970′s when the embankment was re-graded on the western side to allow the parallel footpath to be widened.  The embankment towards the West Station was removed when the Hanover Place housing development was built in 1966.  The Arch was backfilled with rubble from the portals and remained in that state for many years!

The Crab & Winkle Line Trust had been concerned about the deteriorating state of the Arch which was owned by Canterbury City Council and in 2010 applied to English Heritage to give it consideration for listing.

On the 1st September that 2010, the Arch was given Grade 2 listing.

From that time, The Trust continued to press the City Council to ensure the future of the Arch and as the result of this, a joint partnership with the Council and The Trust was formed and on Monday 16th March 2015, a mechanical digger spent two days digging out earth, landscaping and removing all the rubble from inside and which was found to be in excellent condition as was the tarmac floor throughout. Canterbury City Council has commissioned metal gates for both ends of the Arch, one with an opening door and it’s hoped an information panel will be located close by.

John Burden in Beverly Arch taken by Terry Westgate

John Burden in Beverly Arch taken by Terry Westgate

Climate March Cycle Ride

On Sunday as part of the Global Climate March a group of protesters rode along the Crab and Winkle Way from Canterbury to Whitstable.

climate_rideAt the end of Invicta Way where we plan to extend the path over 2 new bridges right into the middle of town.  Giving a safe route between residential areas, schools and other amenities.

climare_ride2Stopping off for a rest and to collect more people at the winding pond.

climare_ride3Rolling down Invicta Way.

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