Thursday, 5 January 2017



IT WAS in summer two years ago  that the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust revealed it was  proposing to build a new visitor centre at Spurn.

The trust said its project would "contribute towards a £20-million boost to East Yorkshire’s nature tourism industry whilst safeguarding visitors and protecting wildlife".

Below is the original design submitted by Salt Architects - note the parked coach indicating the potential for increased tourism to what at present is prized by many birders for its bleakness.

Spurn Visitor Centre © Salt ArchitectsSpurn Visitor Centre © Salt Architects
On June 30, 2015,  the YWT put out a press statement which said: " A brighter future is being planned for Spurn National Nature Reserve by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.

"Proposals for a £900,000 visitor centre have been evolving over the last two years since funding was offered by E.ON who have been constructing the Humber Gateway offshore wind farm.

"A long period of consultation has been taking place with local people and a wide range of other stakeholders, and the plans for the visitor centre have been modified accordingly."

Sir Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said  the proposals would  make a huge difference, and he expressed his support thus: “I want to take the opportunity to express Welcome to Yorkshire’s support for this project which has the potential to become a cornerstone to one of the region’s new tourism growth areas.”

The YWT claims that studies by Leeds Metropolitan University have shown that improved facilities would contribute to the growing nature tourism economy within East Yorkshire.

Should key visitor provision be established, it says the growth is estimated to be worth an extra £20 million over 25 years, securing dozens of new and existing jobs in the accommodation, food and tourism sectors.

The YWT statement continues: "A developing nature tourism economy is one way of ensuring the wildlife and habitats of East Yorkshire are protected and celebrated - principle aims of the trust.

"Following the 2013 tidal surge and the loss of a large stretch of the access road to Spurn Point, the trust has had to review how it looks after the site for wildlife and how it ensures visitors have a safe, informative and enjoyable visit.

"In March, 2014, the trust  presented its early proposals for a new visitor centre at Spurn to members of the local community.

"E.ON are supporting three major projects in East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire and have additionally set up a community fund, to support local community projects in the same area."
The YWT's chief executive, Rob Stoneman, says: “To look after the sensitive and unique wildlife of Spurn, we have to look after our visitors properly.

"Proper visitor facilities will help with visitor safety, and improve our ability to prevent disturbance and damage to Spurn’s fantastic wildlife.

"The exposed site, a former military area, is hazardous; the tide washes over the peninsula twice a day, there are many dilapidated and hazardous buildings from historical military activity.

"Browntail moth caterpillars, prevalent over the spring and summer, can cause skin and respiration irritation to visitors.

 The trust says it is  committed to ensuring that visitors to Spurn National Nature Reserve do not put any pressure on the sensitive nature of the wildlife interest.

Along with developing its plans for a visitor centre, it has been working extensively on a new access plan for Spurn that ensures visitors do not accidentally damage or disturb important areas for wildlife.

"At the proposed visitor centre, the Trust would like to establish proper parking provision, and a number of trails that will ensure visitors are directed away from the more sensitive areas of the reserve."

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