I’ve got so many happy childhood memories of the east coast of England and so it was an absolute delight to be able to pick them up, dust them down and head on over to RSPB Bempton Cliffs which can be found close to Flamborough Head.

Bempton Cliffs
Bempton Cliffs

On arrival, I was able to tick it off as being another RSPB site visited – well, my second; RSPB Titchwell Marsh being the other.

I met up with RSPCA Inspector Geoff Edmond who, apart from being an all-round wonderful bloke with a body of knowledge so large he should be on Mastermind, is also a National Wildlife Officer Co-ordinator.

One of Geoff’s missions in life is not just to make people aware of the potentially fatal hazards that litter causes to wildlife but also to get them to change their behaviour if they’re prone to tossing aside a single-use cup or a bottle or a balloon or… it’s an endless list the kind of things that simply get thrown to the ground.

For the record, here’s some of the consequences of thoughtless littering:

  • Animals can get stuck in bottles, jars, cups and other containers which leads to suffocation or starvation.
  • Cans and bottles far too often see wildlife getting cut, injuring them in a way that is often fatal either through blood loss or infections.
  • Animals eat household waste which could be toxic and cause extreme illness and/or death.
  • Balloons, plastic wrappers and latex are eaten and this leads to a blockage in the animal’s digestive tract with starvation and death following.
  • Smaller animals can get caught and suffocate in them.
  • String, rope and netting – the animals become tangled in them and are unable to free themselves.

It never ceases to amaze me that, alas, too many people will take the trouble of carrying their picnic when it’s at its heaviest to a beauty spot and then thoughtlessly discard the wrappers, containers etc when they’re at their lightest instead of simply taking their rubbish away with them. I’m sure it’s not going to slow their cars down too much to have a few empty wrappers in there waiting to be disposed of properly.

Back to RSPB Bempton Cliffs!

If you’re wanting to do some serious bird-spotting then this is the place for you. it’s a family-friendly, dog-friendly area with tremendous accessible paths and viewing platforms down to the cliffs where the birds gather in their tens of thousands. That’s right. Tens of thousands. Almost half a million seabirds cram onto ledges here.

The star species of bird that you will see are:

  • Gannet
  • Guillemot
  • Puffin
  • Barn owl
  • Tree sparrow

I’d say for me the puffin would be the star attraction and unfortunately we weren’t able to visit during the time of year they’re on tour here – if you do want to enjoy their antics then mid-April to mid-July is the time to visit. My misfortune at missing them this time means I have the perfect excuse to go again.

As well as the facilities I’ve already mentioned, you’ll also find:

  • Visitor centre
  • Car park
  • Toilets
  • Accessible toilets
  • Baby changing
  • Refreshments
  • Picnic area
  • Binocular hire
  • Guided walks
  • Shop
  • Nature trails

And when I visited… bugs! Thousands of them – so just be prepared to share your space with thunderflies and the like ☺.

Visitor centre
Visitor centre

It’s seems appropriate to let Geoff have the last say here:

“Partnerships are the key to achieving the best results for wildlife and animal welfare.”

That’s exactly what you get with RSPB Bempton Cliffs and heroes like Geoff.

That and much more.

Happy adventuring.