Bempton Cliffs

The RSPB reserve ​on the dramatic chalk sea cliffs on the Yorkshire coast north of Bridlington. A modern visitor centre is strategically placed to obscure the Public Footpath so visitors unwittingly pay the £4 entry fee. All in a good cause though but I wish it was more transparent.

Lots of sea birds flying around and clinging precariously to the rock face but I don’t think many have laid yet. At one time seabird eggs would have a valuable food resource. The practice of climming involved being lowered down on ropes to collect the eggs. This provided quite a spectacle for Victorian tourists. Other tourists would hire boats to take them under the cliffs to take pot shots at the nesting birds. Some locals were however appalled at this slaughter and campaigned against the senseless killing. This lead eventually to the Seabird Preservation Act of 1869 the first act of Parliament to protect sea birds and which was superceded by the Protection of Birds Act 1954. This act also made egg collecting illegal thereby outlawing the practice of climming.

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