Bempton birds a big draw

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The new seabird centre at RSPB Bempton Cliffs is providing a boost for some local accommodation providers.

Sunflower Lodge on Flamborough Road, Bridlington, has seen an upturn in the number of guests staying with them specifically to visit the RSPB nature reserve at Bempton Cliffs.

Their latest guests travelled from a town near Versaille in France solely to see the seabird spectacle on the reserve. Anne Marie Michaud and Marie Estelle Caspar from Vélizy-Villacoublay visited the iconic cliffs on the advice of a Belgian photographer.

They spent three consecutive days on the reserve to make the most of their short five-day break, photographing the birds and landscape in different lights.

Both were overwhelmed by the scale of the spectacle and the close proximity of the seabirds. In fact, they were so impressed they even became RSPB members.

Marie Estelle explained what affected them most.

“The cliffs are so dramatic yet it’s possible to get very near to the seabirds,” she said.

“There were times the gannets were in the air but on the same level as us. It was heaven for a photographer.

“There was also the surprise of the flowers on the cliffs – they are very beautiful at this time of year.”

Anne Marie said there was nowhere as accessible as Bempton Cliffs in France: “There are puffins on Sept-Îles in Brittany but these can only be reached by boat.”

Sunflower Lodge has also had bird watchers from less exotic climes staying with them to visit the cliffs – Luton, Stevenage and a group of six photographers from Liverpool, all recently featured in their guest book.

Bob Hillery, Chairman of Bridlington Tourism Association, reiterated the popularity of the nature reserve.

“Dutch visitors in particular seem drawn to the cliff tops.

“There just isn’t anything like it in the Netherlands so for birdwatchers it’s a ‘must do’ and well within travelling distance for a short break,” he said.

Many visitors come from farther afield.

A New Zealand visitor on TripAdvisor, claimed that ‘after travelling the world’, Bempton Cliffs was his ‘most favourite place in the whole wide-world’.