The Kent foodie town will harvest three million rock oysters this year, but some say local waters have now become a danger-zone

The harvesting of oysters on the mudflats of the Thames estuary has helped transform Whitstable, the quaint seaside town on the north-east Kent coast, from a neglected backwater into a foodie mecca.

At weekends its narrow pavements are packed with day trippers beating a path to one of its many shellfish shacks or restaurants where half a dozen freshly shucked native oysters, the local, highly prized, wild variety, will set you back £15.

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