News and Notices

Current News and Announcments

Planned works for Sandwich - update
The bus shelter located in the Guildhall Market Square has now been relocated to Sandwich Quay (this does not affect any bus services to the square).
The relocation of the shelter marks the beginning of the wider development works planned for the Guildhall Square.
The R&A has agreed to provide £75,000 in funding towards the redevelopment of the Guildhall Square, alongside investment from Dover District Council, Sandwich Town Council, Kent County Council, Prince’s Golf Club and Discovery Park.
The funding is part of the £100,000 windfall received from The Open Legacy Fund, an initiative run by The R&A to leave a positive and long-lasting impact on the local environment and communities in which The Open is staged.
The redevelopment project will transform the town’s square for residents and visitors, and includes highway improvements and resurfacing of the current space along with the installation of new features such as improved seating, tree planting, a bespoke metal work and lighting. The project has been developed in collaboration with the county, district and town councils, and the local community.
Highway work is due to commence in the autumn, with works to the main square expected to start in early 2022.
Once key dates have been confirmed and the project progresses, residents will be kept regularly updated through Keep Me Posted email bulletins and a dedicated project page on the council’s website (
Please also read the original press release about the project.

We are saddened to announce that Councillor Michael John (MJ) Holloway has made the difficult decision to resign as both a Sandwich Town Council representative and as the Sandwich Representative for Dover District Council due to a number of personal matters.

The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Sandwich has spoken at length with Councillor Holloway to thank him most sincerely for all his efforts and his assiduous approach to matters within the town over the last six years, during which time he has been an active and present member of committees, organisations and civic life as well as serving as deputy Mayor.

Sandwich Town Council are now in consultation with Dover District Council regarding a bye election.


Sandwich Town Council & Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund:  Key updates from the meetings of 26th May 2021

13 town councillors were present at this meeting.

  • Councillors considered a Disability Access Strategy for Sandwich that has been written by the Disability Access Group/Town Team. It was agreed that with the forthcoming improvements to the Forecourt, now would be a good time to try and take this forward.   Cllrs Broun, Ms Fox and Friend (on behalf of the Chamber of Commerce) will convene a meeting to discuss the issues raised in the Disability Access Strategy with the Town Team, DDC, KCC and Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund to consider how to progress this strategy.
  • Permission was given for the Heritage Harbour Group to use the Sandwich Coat of Arms in their official logo.
  • The Council supports the nomination of the Phoenix Centre as an Asset of Community Value and will await the results of DDC’s decision following this nomination. The Mayor will meet with Friends of the Phoenix Centre to find out their plans for the centre, if accepted by DDC.
  • The Council resolves to support Fairtrade status and agreed to serve Fairtrade Products (e.g. coffee in council meetings). Cllr P Carter (lead) and Cllr D Friend will draft the terms of reference for Sandwich Fairtrade Group and seek members (i.e. from the Coop, Chamber of Commerce, local community) to take the Group forward in order to pursue Fair Trade Status for Sandwich.
  • Residents and business are going to be invited to tell the Council what they believe the Council should concentrate on in 2021/2022 to help inform the Council’s Mission Statement & Business Plan. A questionnaire will be issued on Survey Monkey and printed copies will be available around town from prominent places (i.e. Coop and Library).

Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund:

  • A grant of £2,500 was awarded to the Sandwich Community Christmas Lights Committee for repairs, upgrades and improvements of the town’s Christmas lights.
  • The final contract for sale for part of the rear of Guildhall Car Park to the Market Place Surgery was confirmed, which this will allow Sandwich Medical Practice to expand. The intention is to develop services such as physiotherapy, diagnostics, counselling, visiting hospital consultants, support the shift of services from hospital to primary care, accommodate training doctors and be fully engaged with hosting students from the new medical school.

    This is not a summary of everything covered at this meeting, please see the official Minutes for the legal record of this meeting.  The above is intended to provide a snapshot of matters that may be of interest to residents.

Sandwich Museum reopened on 19th May 2021!

The staff and volunteers were delighted to be able to invite visitors back to the museum which has been closed since early November due to Covid-19.

The Mayor was present to open the museum and welcomed the first visitors, thanking them for supporting the museum, “The museum has been closed for some time now and we are so pleased to be able to open our doors once more to the public and to share our wonderful and unique collections.”

The museum tells the story of the town from the Mesolithic period until the modern day and also includes the intact Tudor Court Room which can be viewed whilst visiting.

Currently the museum is asking visitors to book in order to avoid disappointment and ensure the safety of staff and visitors. The museum is free entry (donations much appreciated) and open Weds-Sun 10.00-16.00. To book please do so via our website or by emailing

The Annual Meeting of the Council (Mayor Making)
4th May 2021

On Tuesday 4th May 2021, the Town & Cinque Port of Sandwich celebrated the re-election of Cllr Paul Graeme to a line of Mayors stretching back to the Thirteenth Century.

At the Council’s Annual Meeting, Cllr Graeme was voted into a sixth year of office as Mayor, with Cllr Tony Broun as his Deputy Mayor for 2021/22.  The Mayor also appointed the Revd. Canon Mark Roberts, Rector of Sandwich, to act as his Chaplain again in this term of office.

The Mayor gave thanks for the Councillors and officers for their support during pandemic, and especially the officers who have kept the Council functioning in changing conditions, he added “We now have a glimmer of hope as the Roadmap progresses and I hope we can move forward with various plans, including the Forward Plan for the Guildhall, intended to ensure sustainability of the Guildhall, and contribute to the success of our wonderful medieval town”.

Police Newsletter May 2021 - PCSO Julia James - Click Here

Sandwich Town Council & Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund: Key updates from the meetings of 26th April 2021

All 16 town councillors were present at this meeting.

  • A working group will be set up comprising of Cllrs Friend, Lintott, Sampson, Cllr Sue Chandler (KKC) and Cllr MJ Holloway (DDC) with Darran Solley, DDC Parks and Open Spaces Manager, to explore the viability of an outdoor gym for Sandwich.
  • Steps for how to create a Communications Strategy were agreed, to help the council’s communication and promotion of its activities to residents.
  • No objections were raised in respect of the following planning applications:
    • 21/00529 |Display of various internally illuminated and non-illuminated elevational and freestanding signage | Land At Weatherlees Bend, Ramsgate Road Sandwich.
    • 21/00546 |Display of 3no. fascia signs, 1no. single and 1no. triple menu displays, 1no. pylon sign, 2no. post signs all internally illuminated and height restrictor with internally illuminated sign. 1no. banner sign, 2no. freestanding signs and order canopy all non-illuminated | Land West of Montagu Road, Discovery Park.
  • The Terms of Reference for a new “Allotment Working Group” were approved, which is intended to give the allotment holders at the Black Lane Allotment Gardens greater say in the management of their allotments and reduce officer time. A new “Policy for addressing complaints at the Allotment Gardens” was also approved.
  • A proposal for a new electric vehicle charging point on New Street was considered; it was resolved that although the introduction of vehicle charging points is to be supported, the proposed location on New Street is not ideal, as this can be a busy road with congestion and the charging point would be difficult to find/access.
  • An external report by PS Tax into the council’s VAT activities was received and the Council’s current treatment of VAT was deemed to be correct.

Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund:

  • Grant applications from the Sandwich Community Christmas Lights Committee and Gazen Salts Nature Reserve were considered, and although the Trustee was supportive of both applications, further details of the planned expenditure will be requested.
  • The Trustee agreed a way forward to replace the Guildhall’s broken heating system; gas boilers will be installed. The Trustee had previously explored other heating methods, but nothing currently on the market (heat pump, biomass, solar panels, etc) was thought to be suitable for the Guildhall.  It is possible that hydrogen might provide a solution in the future, but this technology is in its infancy at the present time).  The new boilers will be significantly more efficient than their predecessors, and additional smart controls will be able to build upon (support) this efficiency.

    This is not a summary of everything covered at this meeting, please see the official Minutes for the legal record of this meeting.  The above is intended to provide a snapshot of matters that may be of interest to residents.




The following report was issued by Cllr Paul Graeme, Mayor of Sandwich, at the Annual Town Meeting on the 17th March 2021:

"In May 2020 it was my privilege to be elected as the Right Worshipful the Mayor of Sandwich for the fifth term.

For the first time in Sandwich’s history, I was elected Mayor via Zoom.  A platform most of us had never heard of until Covid-19 was upon us.  Little did we know this was to be the norm for at least the next year as we faced unprecedented times. 

Due to foresight and meticulous planning the town council has been able to function as all councillors had previously been issued with iPads which enabled us to meet remotely through Zoom and also to continue to share important information with each other and residents in order to maintain communication and efficiency. It is not an ideal way of conducting business, but Councillors, officers and the public adapted extremely well.

This has been a year of uncertainty, but our dedicated and efficient staff have all continued their roles and worked from home where possible.  This has ensured that in most cases Council business has largely continued without interruption.  Furthermore, they have risen to the challenge of diversifying their roles and responsibilities to support residents and businesses not only in the town but across the district.

As a town we pride ourselves on our exciting programme of festivals and events, sadly we have been unable to hold any in the last year, but it is reassuring to hear news that these groups continue to plan for the future and indeed, later this year we hope to join together again, in a safe and secure manner.

We are lucky that within our town we have diverse businesses who have endeavoured during this time to think outside the box and continue to supply residents and visitors with excellent goods and services.  Whilst I know it has been a difficult time for them, I am proud to see the ingenuity of our business community. I very much hope that residents will continue to be loyal and support these local companies as we begin to come out of lockdown.  I am certainly looking forward to being able to return to the pubs and restaurants, as I am sure you are!!

We can look forward to some exciting developments for the remainder of 2021.  We have been updated by the Royal and Ancient who have confirmed that the 149th Open will be held in July. As I am sure you are aware the market square refurbishment will begin later this year which will provide us with a fantastical improvement to this public space.

In the last year we have:

  • Fought hard to get a Covid facility at the Guildhall, and this resulted in the a-symptomatic testing site that is currently running, and all residents are encouraged to use this facility. We also tried hard to get a vaccination centre at the Guildhall, but this was not taken advantage of by the relevant authorities. 

  • We’ve worked with Kent County Council and the Town Team to take forward the Highways Improvement Plan with a budget being allocated.

  • We’ve disposed of the Causeway Tip, a disused landfill site on the Ash Road, that removed our liability and increased Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund’s investment funds.

  • We’re in the process of divesting part of the rear of Guildhall Car Park to the Market Place Surgery, which will allow for the expansion of this doctor’s surgery and increase the health facilities that are available for local residents.

  • A new wedding brochure for the Guildhall, aimed at increasing bookings, has been created, and work on a marketing programme is underway. In an endeavour to increase the Guildhall’s income.

  • A new gallery space at the Guildhall has been created, for hosting and promoting local artists and we would welcome working with any local artists to promote their works.

  • An arrangement with Kent Police to use part of the Guildhall as a base on a trial basis will hopefully be confirmed soon.

  • Oversight of the weekly Forecourt markets has been brought in house, income from which will go towards funding the Forecourt refurbishment, and we’re working with two market managers who are striving to provide vibrant and interesting offers for residents on market days.

  • A great amount of time was spent working on a robust submission to DDC’s Local Plan and I thank all the residents who raised issues about the Plan with the Council.

  • Lockdown has presented an opportunity to re-decorate a large part of the Guildhall, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back into a much smarter community building, wedding venue and conference centre.

  • Local residents will now be aware that the town council element of the rates bill will be increased by £12.41 for the year (or 25p per week), for a Band D Property. I can assure you that these additional funds have been dedicated to:

 More money will be spent on:

      • Highways Improvement Plan
      • A project start-up budget has been created to help speed up the implementation of new proposals.
      • Installation of contactless payment machines at the Quay Conveniences, which will facilitate the ability to increase the opening hours of the conveniences in the future.
      • An ongoing IT budget, that has significantly enabled the Council to communicate with residents and transact business during the pandemic.
      • The external auditor also warned us that our reserves were too low, and these needed to be significantly increased.

Money will be saved on:

      • Civic expenditure
      • Staffing contingency budget
      • Reduced opening of the Visitor Information Centre due to the pandemic. These hours will be increased again when lockdown ends to help support the visitor economy and of course our residents.
      • A new accountancy software system and bringing payroll in-house, which will save time and money in the future.
  • We’ve upgraded the CCTV system at the Guildhall, and considerable maintenance/upgrade work is ongoing, which as you can imagine is not a straightforward job in a building where parts date back to the 1500s.
  • Considerable time has gone into Covid19 health and safety risk assessment, trying to ensure that users of the Guildhall can safely continue to use the building and the Forecourt, when this has been permissible throughout the past year.
  • We’ve worked with DDC and the EA to encourage progress in maintaining and improving the flow of Sandwich’s waterways, this included providing land for silt to be deposited on and trees to be planted.
  • The Monks Wall Nature Reserve was re-opened for the first time in a number of years. It is proving to be immensely popular with the residents and we were very pleased to be able to offer another outdoor space during a year of limit outdoor opportunities and exercise options.
  • We’ve have been closely working with the Town Team on an accessibility strategy and have raised this as a matter of importance within DDC’s Draft Local Plan submission.
  • We’ve worked with the Royal & Ancient and stakeholders in relation to the 149th In conjunction with this the new long platform at Sandwich Station has been brought into use with immediate effect, to help ensure social distancing can be achieved.
  • A new town council website was launched in 2020 and the council is much more active on Facebook, there are nearly 1000 people following the Sandwich Town Council page and we’re trying hard to issue useful local updates out as soon as we have them.
  • The town’s telephone boxes that were decommissioned by BT, have been repurposed for pop-up displays and information sites.
  • The financial statements have been reviewed on a monthly basis by the Finance Committee to ensure that the effects of the pandemic on the operations of Sandwich Town Council and Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund, including the investments, are managed and mitigated.
  • Updated promotional information has been shard with Kent Film Officer with the aim of promoting Sandwich as a filming destination.
  • Sandwich Guildhall Museum successfully hosted a joint lecture with Sandwich Local History Society which brought in over £300 for the two organisations. Due to its success the hope is to host an annual joint lecture going forward.
  • Whilst we were still able to open the Museum in the autumn, we did so safely and to great success with many visitors returning to the museum, viewing the temporary exhibition on pilgrimage and partaking in family activities which we put on safely.
  • We are making positive headway with cataloguing of our archival material now, with a contractor working hard to get our documents on the CMS database purchased in 2019.
  • After our successful internship programme last year, in conjunction with the University of Kent at Canterbury we are now at the shortlisting process for the second round of internships.

And so amongst all the problems that the last year presented, there has been a lot of progress.  As we come to the end of this Mayoral year, we can look back with pride on how the Town and its residents have dealt with the dreadful pandemic and now that there is a glimmer of hope for the future, we move on further into 2021 with great hope and optimism.  

I would like to conclude this report by sincerely thanking all key workers for their dedicated efforts throughout this ordeal, together with those residents of Sandwich who continue to impress me with their generosity and willingness to volunteer and help each other (i.e., St Peters Care and Share, Age Concern meals and wheels etc.) and also thank our committed staff at the Guildhall who have continued to serve the community so well and wish you all a safe and healthy future.


A report from the Deputy Leader of DDC and Ward Cllr Michael Holloway can be found by clicking here.


At the Council meeting of 29th March 2021 Sandwich Town Council declared a climate change emergency.

Sandwich Town Council notes:

  1. The IPCC ‘Special Report on Global Warming’ (2018) - Global Warming of 1.5 ºC — (

  2. The CCC report ‘Net Zero – the UK’s contribution to stopping global warming’ (May 2019) - Net Zero - The UK's contribution to stopping global warming - Climate Change Committee (

  3. Related documents from when DDC declared a Climate Change Emergency Councillors and Elections (

Sandwich Town Council agrees with the following: 

  1. That human activities are changing our planet and the need for everyone to act on climate change is more urgent and immediate than ever;

  2. That not meeting the UK’s targets will have a negative impact on our residents whilst measures to combat climate change can have significant benefits;

  3. That local government has a role to play in responding to climate change, both through their own practices and policies, and through leadership and facilitation;

  4. That various councils across the UK (including the District Council, County Council and UK parliament) have declared a Climate Change Emergency and committed to radical action to combat climate change;

Sandwich Town Council now declares a ‘Climate Emergency’ as a pledge in moving to:

  1. Carbon neutrality by 2030;

  2. Convenes an Environment Committee (to oversee “task and finish”) working with officers, representatives of local environmental groups, residents, and businesses, that will report to the Council within 6 months on what actions must be taken, which should include how to achieve behavioural change;

  3. Acting within its powers and responsibilities set targets to measure its effectiveness;

  4. To develop a communication strategy to convey to residents the severity of the situation, and the ways people and businesses can take independent action to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  5. Lobby Government to provide the powers and resources needed to address this issue.

Sandwich Town Council : Key updates from the Council meeting of 29th March 2021

15 town councillors were present at this meeting and there was one apology, due to a family matter. 

  • A working group will be put together to explore an audit of the town’s tourism signage and create a plan for improvement.
  • A Usage Policy for the Forecourt was approved.
  • The date for the Annual Meeting of the Council (Mayor Making) was changed to 4th May 2021 in order to allow the event to take place remotely.
  • The Council will write to KCC urging that footpath ES10 (the “Black Lane”) should be re-opened to the public, and access to the building site be managed with security fencing. It will be noted, however, that the footpath will need to be closed for the surface improvements that are part of the development. 
  • Subject to the necessary risk assessments and training being put in place, the Council’s public liability insurance will be used to cover a Lorry Watch Scheme for the town.
  • A Climate Change Emergency was declared (see separate press release for more information). A new Environment Committee will be set up to address this work.
  • The Council’s full response to DDC’s Draft Local Plan can be found at Sandwich Town Council’s Response to DDC’s Draft Local Plan 2021

Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund:

  • A grant of £10,000 was approved for Sandwich Technology School for funding of repairs and refurbishment of the schools’ Sports Hall; these funds should specifically be spent on refurbishment of the changing areas.
  • A grant of £480 was approved for Hi-Kent to go towards the continued running of a free hearing aid service in Sandwich.
  • A grant of £1,000 was approved for Sandwich Folk & Ale Festival Committee to go towards the 2021 festival.
  1. This is not a summary of everything covered at this meeting, please see the official Minutes for the legal record of this meeting.  The above is intended to provide a snapshot of matters that may be of interest to residents.

Sandwich Town Council : Key updates from the Council meeting of 25th January 2021

14 town councillors were present at this meeting and there were two apologies, for work and personal matters.

  • The Council resolved to recommend the following planning application be approved by Dover District Council: ““20/01447 |Development comprising engineering and excavation works (including land re-profiling) to facilitate the creation of a shallow artificial lake for water sports activities with associated facilities (including reception building with ancillary uses, cable pulley system, inflatable aqua park and storage units), parking, landscaping and formation of a new site access from Ash Road | Land at North Poulders Ash Road Sandwich Kent”, subject to the applicant’s agreement that they plant a variety of native trees and shrubs, not just single species. And that the hedgerows be planted in two parallel, staggered rows as recommended by Sandwich’s Tree Warden.

  • An extra-ordinary meeting of the Council will be arranged for the 15th March 2021 at 6pm to finalise the Council’s response to DDC’s Local Plan consultation; calling an extra meeting increases the time available for the Council to consider the Plan. 
    The Plan will be split down into sections, that will be considered by the Council’s existing Committees during February and recommendations will be made on each section.
    A public meeting has been arranged for Friday 5th February at which all local residents are invited to give their thoughts on the Plan, the Zoom joining details are:
    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 841 3558 2014
    Passcode: 186060
  • The Precept Demand Form for 2021/2022 was approved for submission to Dover District Council. The requested precept is £263,709.66, which represents a 10.04% rise on 2021/2021 (equivalent to £135.96 for a Band D property; a rise of £12.41).  A statement with further information about the budget will be forthcoming.

  • Mr C Townend, Strategic Tourism Manager at DDC, will be joining the Council’s Tourism Committee as a co-opted member, which will hopefully strengthen Sandwich’s links with the District Council’s tourism objectives, of which there are a number of plans in the pipeline.

  • A grant of £1,500 by Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund was approved to help start up the Sandwich Pantry by Sandwich Social Supermarket CIC.

  • Funding for Sandwich in Bloom was discussed, an application form for 2021/2022 was invited.

  • The Town Clerk is going to work on a number of governance matters relating to Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund, to clarify how and what the charity does.

This is not a summary of everything covered at this meeting, please see the official Minutes for the legal record of this meeting.  The above is intended to provide a snapshot of matters that may be of interest to residents.

Sandwich Town Council : Key updates from the Council meeting of 14th December 2020

All 16 town councillors were present at this meeting.

  • The Town Clerk is going to draft a clear policy, including process, criteria and local content, on how the letting of the Forecourt will be agreed in the future; this follows concerns that were raised by local residents and businesses about different proposals being received, particularly from private companies, for the use of this space.

  • Councillors are going to meet with the Council’s business tenants (we don’t have any residential tenants) when Covid permits to find out how their businesses are faring during the pandemic; this is intended to ensure that the council is fully aware of the latest problems that may be experienced, and where support is required.

  • The draft 2021/2022 was approved, we now wait for confirmation from Dover District Council as to what the tax base for the year will be (how many rate payers there are), before the precept for 2021/2022 is confirmed.  Usually we receive this information just before Christmas.  The precept (and the cost to the rate payers) will then be confirmed at the Council meeting in January 2021.

  • A wedding brochure for the Guildhall was approved, which is designed to showcase the Guildhall as a wedding venue and help increase bookings.  For the first time wedding packages will also be available for couples to compliment room hire. 
  • Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund’s Assets & Advisory Committee are going to consider the Guildhall’s contents insurance in the New Year, to ensure that we’re meeting our obligations to protect the artefacts and antiques within the building.

    This is not a summary of everything covered at this meeting, please see the official Minutes for the legal record of this meeting.  The above is intended to provide a snapshot of matters that may be of interest to residents.

Reed cutting along the Ropewalk: 30th September 2020

Contractors working on behalf of Dover District Council will be reed cutting along the Ropewalk from 10am tomorrow (Wednesday, 30 September) as part of a regular programme of maintenance works to improve water quality and habitat management.

Similar to pruning a shrub or tree, reed cutting is standard maintenance practice to prevent the build-up of nutrients and dead plant material.

The works involve a large excavator which will operate from Cow Leas Meadow.  This has been agreed with Sandwich Town Council. 

Following the reed cutting, renovation and seeding works will be completed.

Sandwich Library has Reopened

Good news! Sandwich Library has reopened on Tuesday, 29 September offering a socially-distanced book browsing and borrowing service for customers so they can select books from the shelves.

Additional safety measures will include hand sanitizer stations, a one-way circulation route through the building, use of the self-service machine, and face coverings being mandatory (unless exempt).

Opening hours are:

Monday : Closed

Tuesday : 10 am – 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm – 4 pm

Wednesday  : Closed

Thursday : 10 am – 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm – 4 pm

Friday  : 10 am – 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm – 4 pm

Saturday : 10 am – 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm – 4 pm

Public access computers and WiFi slots are available to book via our website or by telephone on 03000 41 31 31. Check our website or @DoverLibraries on Facebook for updates to our service.


Sandwich Town Council is delighted to announce that the Monks Wall Nature Reserve was re-opened on Friday 11th September 2020 by The Right Worshipful the Mayor and Mayoress of Sandwich (Cllr & Mrs Paul Graeme), Mark Chandler (Finns Management) and Cllr Sue Chandler (KCC Representative for Sandwich) and Ken Chapman (Warden).

Members of the public are now invited to visit the Reserve, which we particularly hope will be of benefit to the residents of Sandwich who live to the north of the Toll Bridge, who will be effected by the forthcoming closure of the bridge for repairs. 

The main entrance to the Reserve is through the car park off the Monks Way, just before the junction with the A256. Alternatively, visitors may park on the quayside at Sandwich and walk in from the eastern end at Stonar.

A circular path allows visitors to walk around the main part of the Reserve and there are two public viewing hides.

Visitors should note, however, that the ground underfoot is often rough and uneven and unsuitable for wheelchair users or those with limited mobility. Some areas of the Reserve are ‘off-limits’ due to grazing livestock and the presence of deep water. In order to protect livestock and also ground-nesting birds, dogs are not allowed on the Reserve except for assistance dogs and these should be on a lead at all times. No angling is permitted.

History of the Reserve:

Monks Nature Reserve comprises an area of about 29 hectares (70 acres) lying on the north side of the River Stour from the town of Sandwich. The land was formerly farmland and was then purchased by the Pfizer pharmaceutical company. It has been run as a nature reserve since the mid-1990’s and in the past, members of the public were allowed to access the land by a permit system. In 2011/2012 the whole area was gifted to Sandwich Town Council on condition that the land continued to be managed as a nature reserve for the benefit of local wildlife and the interest, education and enjoyment of residents and visitors to the area. For the entire time of its existence, the Reserve has been managed by a committee made up of Sandwich Town Councillors and senior members of the Sandwich Bay Bird Observatory.

Monks Wall Nature Reserve is now mostly an area of lowland wet grassland, a habitat which has become very scarce in the British Isles over recent decades.  There are also areas of scrubland, hedgerows and reed-bed. The main aims of the management of the Reserve is to conserve and improve this habitat, while allowing members of the public appropriate access. The wildlife interest includes several species of duck, especially in the winter months, while other water birds such as Coot, Moorhen and Little Grebe and Grey Herons and Little Egret are almost always present. Birds of prey which visit the area include Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier and there are many species of other birds. Mammals include a few Water Voles, though these are rarely seen, and there is evidence that Otters visit the site. Of the wildflowers, there are a number of scarce species, including three species of orchid, while a range of insect life includes a good variety of dragonflies and butterflies.

The Reserve was closed in 2013 in order to allow the Sandwich Town Tidal Defence Scheme (a partnership between the Environment Agency, Pfizer and Kent County Council) to progress.  During this time, members of the public were not allowed to visit the Reserve and for various reasons connected with unresolved Health and Safety issues, it has only now become possible to safely re-open the Reserve to the public. The previous permit system will no longer apply.


The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Sandwich, Cllr Jeff Franklin has presented cheques totalling £2100 to local charities and organisations. These funds were raised by the Mayor and Mayoress during the 2019/20 Civic year, via fundraising activities, that included a Folk & Fizz night. Several local businesses contributed towards the success of the Folk & Fizz night by kindly donating prizes for a raffle that was held at the event.

Kent Search and Rescue and the Phoenix Centre have both received special awards this year in recognition of the great things that they have done to support the town. Kent Search and Rescue’s support during the search for Lucas Dobson last summer was invaluable and we cannot thank them enough for their tremendous efforts during that extremely difficult time. The Phoenix Centre continues to be an important local resource to Sandwich, offering a number of services including a foodbank, youth schemes and mental health initiatives, which help to support the community.

Donations were also made to Age Concern Sandwich, Sandwich in Bloom, Over 60’s Club, White Mill Folk Museum Trust, Townswomen’s Guild, Sandwich Scout Group, Sandwich Community Lights Committee, St Peter’s Care & Share, Sir Roger Manwood’s Band and Sandwich Rainbows, Brownies and Girl Guiding.

This year’s Mayor’s Civic Award was presented to Mrs Emma Reeve, of Fordwich Place, who has served the local community for thirty years as a Leader of the Girl Guides. She currently runs 2nd Sandwich Rainbows.

(13th May 2020)


Sandwich Town Council agreed a 25% increase in the precept for 2020/2021 on the 8th January 2020 at an extra-ordinary meeting of the Council, which represents an annual increase of £24.71 for a Band D property; just less than 48p per week.

This will raise an additional £50,220.56, which will largely go towards repairs, maintenance and running costs of the Guildhall.  

Since the 1970s the Guildhall has been heavily subsidised by Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund (a registered charity of which Sandwich Town Council is the sole trustee) and the Council is aware that the assets of the charity could be depleted within 10 years if the current drain on funds continues. The Council aims to reduce support from the charity for the Guildhall within the current term of office (2019 – 2023), which will then allow the charity to assist with other charitable works for the good of Sandwich and maximise investment income, by maintaining the reserves.

Additional funding for the Guildhall has not solely been sought from the rate payer; the Council will also reduce some services that are no longer efficient and work is underway to improve the business plan for the Guildhall and raise further funds from activities at the building.

Details of the Sandwich Town Council agreed budget for 2020/21 can be found on the Council’s website.

23rd January 2020


Sandwich Town Council has resolved to fully support the schedule of events that are being organised by a number of local businesses via Sandwich Chamber of Commerce, to take place over the weekend of The 149th Open (Thursday 16th July – Sunday 19th July 2020).

The Council had received a proposal from an event organiser who has worked successful in Rye and Deal, however, the proposal that was received from the Chamber of Commerce received the Council’s full support.

Cllrs Mark Lintott and Tony Broun, and officer Mrs A Hollobon-Baxter have now been delegated to work with the Chamber of Commerce to assist where possible to help deliver a series of events that will attract visitors from The 149th Open into the town, provide new activities for residents to enjoy, and encourage support for the local business community.

Local Businessman, Mr Steve Ruston reported “The newly revitalised and energised Sandwich Chamber of Commerce has proven to be a successful vehicle in reaching out to local business and engaging interest in the fantastic opportunities that come with the return of The Open to Royal St Georges course. We have worked together in developing a strategy that will encourage the towns trades and businesses to participate in showcasing our town and developing a lasting legacy that will act as a platform for economic growth. This is at a time when every opportunity must be seized and we need to embrace the change that necessary to see Sandwich return to the golden days of growth and prosperity within its commercial offer. Not only will this opportunity for growth benefit our trading offer but the residual fallout from this can only increase the prosperity of the town as a whole in sustaining us as a tourist destination and a place where people will want to live.”

Cllr Mark Lintott reported that “the Chamber of Commerce’s attention to detail is extremely professional and their enthusiasm for the project is quite infectious.”

Anyone interested in finding out more should contact Vice President of Sandwich Chamber of Commerce Mr Dan Friend ( / 07723364042) or local businessman Mr Steve Ruston ( / 01304 449190).

Further updates, as these plans develop and are approved by Dover District Council’s Events Safety Advisory Group, will be posted on the “Sandwich Chamber of Commerce” and “Sandwich, Kent – forum” Facebook pages.

17th February 2020


Sandwich Town Council has warmly welcomed the Sandwich Port & Haven Commissioners back to the Guildhall, following a period of being based at the Fishergate on the Quay.

The Mayor, Cllr Jeff Franklin, said “we are delighted to have the Commissioners meeting again at the Guildhall; hopefully this will foster a closer working relationship between the Council and the Commissioners; who perform an incredibly important function for the town and have some exciting plans for the future”.

27th January 2020

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