What’s going on at Bempton Cliffs?

The man has accused the charity of obscuring free access at Bempton Cliffs
The man has accused the charity of obscuring free access at Bempton Cliffs

A Bridlington resident has succeeded in his effort to have a public footpath sign reinstated at RSPB Bempton Cliffs after it mysteriously disappeared.

The man, who wished not to be named, wrote to the East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s Countryside Access Officer because he believes the public right of way at Bempton Cliffs has been obscured.

He said: “I think the charity are interested in getting as much income as they can, rather than honouring the traditional rights of residents and visitors to use the public footpath free of charge.”

Returning his email, countryside access officer Andrew Chudley said: “I will be arranging [the sign] to be replaced. They cannot charge you for using the public highway but the RSPB are within their rights to charge anyone using their facilities such as the car parking or visitor centre.

“The issue is that if you step off the public highway network, which includes the public footpath, then you are entering private land just as if you had gone to a stately home where you would be charged for looking round the gardens.”

Dave Aitken, head warden at the site, said: “We contacted the Highways Department in 2011 about getting the new sign up and in the mean time, the RSPB place similar directional signs.

“We installed these to make them visible to pedestrians. We have informed the Highways Department and welcome the installation of a new sign.”

The site has now stopped charging visitors for use of their car parking facilities.