Twin town visitor helps out at RSPB Bempton as volunteer

Jan-Philip Mortgenstern (centre) during his time at RSPB Bempton.
Jan-Philip Mortgenstern (centre) during his time at RSPB Bempton.

Volunteers at RSPB Bempton Cliffs come from across the region

However, the most recent hails from a little further afield – Bad Salzuflen in North West Germany – one of Bridlington’s twin towns.

Jan-Philip Mortgenstern first visited the cliff tops as a child in 2006 during a visit to Bridlington Priory with his home town’s choir. His family formed a strong bond with a local family and have stayed in touch ever since.

So when he was looking for a volunteering opportunity to broaden his experience and brush up on his language skills, the nature reserve that he’d come to as a boy was an obvious choice.

Jan-Philip said: “I wanted to improve my English by talking to real English speakers not teachers. It’s more of a challenge but more real.”

The team on the cliff tops were happy to help out, ‘buddying’ him with volunteers who showed him the ropes.

Viewpoint volunteer John Bairstow spent a lot of time with Jan-Philip: He said: “It’s always a joy to share knowledge about a place you love and Jan-Philip was a quick learner – he was soon able to help visitors identify the different species of seabirds. I hope his stay has helped improve his English. I’m not sure he was with us long enough to pick up a Yorkshire accent but if he has, that’s got to be a bonus.”