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Exploring the North-East Coast - part 3 - Yorkshire

Yorkshire Coast

I have been absolutely blessed with the weather on my trip so far. Other than the odd occasion where I’ve accidentally waded too far into treacherous land and ended up ankle deep in marshwater, I’ve so far remained dry the entire time.

On what felt like the hottest day this year I reached Spurn Nature Reserve. Spurn Point is a small peninsula located at the very tip of the East coast between the North Sea and the Humber Estuary. After a delicious breakfast stop at the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust visitor centre I set off to walk to the very end of the 3 mile stretch of sand that makes up the tip of this spit of land. Armed with a litter picker and a binbag kindly supplied by the centre for those who wish to use them I made my merry way out to Spurn lighthouse. It was a busy day with many birdwatchers, walkers and nature lovers out and about but I was pleasantly surprised by how clean and tidy the entire stretch was - my litter picker didn’t get much of a look in in the end!

Further north I found the only chalk sea cliff in the north at Flamborough Cliffs. Sadly I was a little too late in the season to see any of the puffins that use this area as their breeding ground but the sky was still awash with kittiwake, gannets and guillemot. As I sat in a secluded bay sipping my morning cup of tea I watched their aerial acrobatics as they plummeted like arrows into the sea on their hunt for breakfast. Sadly the ongoing rise in sea temperature is pushing sand eels, the primary food source for puffins in this area, further north into cooler waters. With less food available, fewer pufflings have been successfully fledging.

On a more positive note, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust is currently working to restore and rewild oyster stocks to the nearby Humber. This area used to be home to one of the largest native oyster populations until polluted waters deemed them unfit for consumption before becoming extinct in the area by 1940. However, following huge improvements in water quality, 3000 oysters have been reintroduced with hopes that a self-sufficient population may thrive in these waters in the near future.

Robin Hood’s Bay in Whitby feels like stepping back in time. A winding street with quaint little shops and cosy pubs leads down to the beach which is a hotspot for fossil hunting when the tide is out. Luckily for me the receding tide is high enough for a brisk, cooling swim - a very welcome treat after miles of walking with the sun beating down.

Whitby Abbey and the few over the town - the photos do not do justice to the relentless gale that was blowing!

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