Johnny’s on board for a green commute

RSPB man Johnny Phillips on his skateboard.
RSPB man Johnny Phillips on his skateboard.

WHEN Johnny Phillips sets off on the two mile round-trip to work at Bempton’s RSPB reserve he jumps on his skateboard. The 28-year-old visitor information assistant is keen on going green and even uses it to do his shopping in Bridlington.

“I would much rather skateboard than drive. It’s greener, it’s good exercise – and it’s fun as well. Even going uphill to the nature reserve is good fun, but, of course, the best bit is coming down again,” said Johnny who is single and has been skateboarding since his teens. He comes from Keighley in West Yorkshire and is currently on a seven month seasonal contract with the RSPB at Bempton which ends in November.

He has become a regular sight to locals as he leaves the RSPB office where he is staying which is close to the White Horse Pub in the village centre, five days a week for his 9am to 5pm shift and hops onto his skateboard for the two minute trip to the Bempton Cliffs reserve.

It is his first job with the charity after acting as a volunteer for them last year at sites elsewhere in the North.

“When I got the job I knew the RSPB was committed to sustainability and the Bempton Reserve has its own carbon target so I decided using my skateboard would be a great way to step up for nature and make more use of environmentally-friendly methods of transport,” said Johnny.

A keen conservationist and wildlife enthusiast he said zipping through the countryside on his board makes him feel much closer to nature. Even his trips into town for a bit of shopping are a pleasure.

“When I go into Bridlington, it’s usually through Flamborough and Sewerby. Then, I cruise along the promenade, do my shopping and play crown green bowls at Dukes Park, it’s great,” he said.

The only advice for anyone planning to follow his example is to play safe and always wear a helmet and protective gear. “That way, if you do take a tumble it hurts less,” said Johnny.