The Flamborough Head European Marine Site (EMS) Management Scheme is pleased to announce the launch of a Personal Watercraft Voluntary Code of Conduct, for the protected area around Flamborough Head and Filey Brigg.
The code of conduct has been developed following a workshop between personal watercraft (Jet Ski) users, the Personal Watercraft Partnership, local authorities, Natural England and the RSPB in an effort to reduce disturbance to the breeding seabird colony.
Under the new code, personal watercraft users are asked to maintain a no-wake speed within 300m of the cliff face and be aware that birds can gather together in ‘rafts’ for many miles into the North Sea. If users come across one of these groups of rafting birds, they are asked to slow down to a no-wake speed and go around the group, before continuing their journeys.
Jeremy Pickles, chair of the management scheme, said: “Some of the seabirds which nest here have been experiencing significant population declines across the North Sea region in recent years.
“The management scheme and its partners hope that the new code of conduct will help to reduce disturbance and would like to thank all visitors for helping us to look after this sensitive area.”
More than 250,000 internationally-protected seabirds are now returning to their nest sites around Flamborough Head and Filey Brigg and can be particularly vulnerable to disturbance during the breeding season.
New signs and information about the code of conduct will be placed at key locations in the coming months. The details of the code of conduct will be regularly reviewed to be sensitive to the needs of both Jet Skiers and the seabird colony. The new code is online at www.flamboroughheadsac.org.uk.