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Fixing The Internet: Lower Leas Coastal Park {Updated 24/7/2020]

July 16, 2020 10:25 AM

Something is Wrong on the Internet cartoon (From xkcd: https://xkcd.com/386/)In early June, after massive issues at the Lower Leas Coastal Park coming back out of lockdown (as in previous summers) and after ongoing and lobbying from me and others, a number of changes were made to the Lower Leas Coastal Park terms of use, including the Banning of BBQs, new bins, diversionary signage and overnight closure of one of the car parks to reduce the impact on local residents.

These were all hugely welcomed. They will, I'm sure, improve the use of the park in the future. It won't be an instant change, but as people learn about the change in rules, the big number of larger groups intent on huge BBQs which were unsuitable for the area should stop coming.

However, over years, the references to BBQs and groups had built up on various websites and pages - some in the control of the District Council, most third party. With those references still "out there", people could still end up coming to the Park accidentally, having been guided to do so by information that was now out of date.

In early June I tried to start the process of fixing the internet about the Lower Leas Coastal Park by doing a Google search for "Lower Leas coastal park Folkestone", picking the top links, many of which reference BBQs, and asking the Folkestone and Hythe District Council team to pick up getting them edited (where we control them) or ask the publisher to update (where its third party) to remove those references. I also went through the Council's own pages and pointed up issues there.

At that stage, they included:


The Coastal Park Car Park is shown in the wrong place (at the Radnor Cliff entrance) which we've discussed repeatedly.


[Please remove "Groups Welcome", change email address from @shepway.gov.uk]


Needs references to BBQs removed throughout the overview.


Can the BBQ tickpoint be removed, as well as the line in the description "Picnic furniture is provided for use and special steel BBQ plates are fitted to tables in areas where barbeques are permitted. "


A recent story about the BBQ ban would help, as the second most recent is currently about National BBQ week... Removing the most obvious BBQ pics from the image library would also be helpful.


Under "Other Park Notes", can the line "Special steel plates have been fitted onto the wooden tables in the specific picnic areas where barbecues are permitted within the park. [11]" be removed.

After a number of weeks (and, to be fair, a few emails back and forth) almost all of the issues have now been picked up. So:


16/7/2020: Car Park now (pretty much) correctly located on the map.


Still broken. Says "Groups Welcome". Still advertises the email address laura.pinkham@shepway.gov.uk which is not just an ex-member of staff, but the wrong domain name. This one is still wrong.

[Update 24/7/2020: It's been fixed! The "Groups Welcome" message has been removed, and the contact email address changed.]


16/7/2020: Done! Yay!


16/7/2020: BBQs no longer a feature. Reference to BBQ plates removed.


16/7/2020: BBQ photos removed, a new story added about recent park changes.


I updated the wikipedia page to remove erroneous information and change the link to the most recent leaflet that no longer refers the BBQs.

So, with huge thanks to the Folkestone and Hythe team that made this happen, many of the key references are fixed (with the exception of Visit Kent, and I understand a request to them HAS been sent). I'm sure there are others out there (let me know if you find any signifcant ones to tim@prater.uk) but hopefully they will reduce over time. Small changes, but surprisingly time consuming.