Climming story brought to life at RSPB cliffs

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The team at RSPB Bempton Cliffs is on the lookout for eager volunteers who can help tell the fascinating stories of the reserve’s intriguing history.

To coincide with the launch of the new seabird heritage centre, opening in spring 2015, staff at the nature reserve near Bridlington are hoping to re-create encounters with people from the past on the cliff tops.

The internationally renowned coastal nature reserve has an incredible past.

In Victorian times, ‘climmers’ collected eggs on the cliffs by simply tying a length of rope round their waist and shimmying over the edge.

This was also the time shooting parties took boat trips to the cliffs and slaughtered seabirds on an almost industrial scale. A key figure from this period was the Rev. Henry Barnes-Lawrence, who campaigned against the decimation of the colony and fought to bring about the Seabird Preservation Act of 1869.

The RSPB is hoping to turn such stories into living history, and to help put their plans into action, the charity is looking to recruit volunteers to take on these roles and engage with visitors.

Volunteer Development Officer, Ryan Chenery, said: “We already have a fantastic group of volunteers who give us their time on the viewpoints and in the shop but we need people with a slightly different skill set for this activity. We need people who can make costumes, write scripts, and even play the part of an historical character, which the public will be able to interact with.”

The reserve team hopes that by explaining how the cliffs played an important role in the lives of local people, visitors will be able to understand how hard the volunteers work.

Anyone wishing to apply to volunteer should contact Ryan Chenery at on 01262 422207 or email