Building the Yorkshire Nature Triangle

(c) Ray Hennessy

In part three of the series, Helen describes how the Yorkshire Nature Triangle found its feet...

East Yorkshire’s nature tourism landscape has undergone an incredible transformation over the last decade. Experiencing the region’s seasonal wildlife spectacles has never been more accessible, or exciting!

The Yorkshire Nature Triangle has been a driving force behind this transformation. We've provided the ‘what, why and how’ to local organisations. We've helped them to gain support, break ground and attract visitors.

An old café at South Landing in Flamborough was transformed into the Living Seas Centre – now attracting over 20,000 visitors every year.

Living Seas Centre

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust renovated and opened up the lighthouse at Spurn - the tallest in Northern England! Alongside this, they built a brand new Discovery Centre to welcome visitors to this unique and ever shifting landscape. All of this was made possible by Coastal Communities Funding and Heritage Lottery funding between 2015 and 2019.

Other organisations were making investments too. RSPB Bempton’s visitor centre was renovated and extended (doubling its visitors from 50,000 to 100,000 a year). Yorkshire Water opened a new education centre and visitor hide. Not only did the visitor numbers rise but the wildlife flourished too!

Bempton Cliffs

(c) George Stoyle

While all these developments were going on, wildlife was earning itself a prime time slot on TV.  The nation was becoming more interested in wildlife, and wanted to visit these charismatic species for themselves!

In 2015, Springwatch was broadcast from the greater Flamborough Headland. This had a fantastic positive impact on the Yorkshire Nature Triangle, and was perfect timing for the launch our new Visitor Guides, dedicated website and social media channels.

With this national boost, more and more local businesses wanted to get involved. Our ‘Nature Tourism Business Toolkit’ was produced and presented to 2000 enterprises.

Tasty food, cosy cottages and well-coordinated activities are all part of the visitor experience and make wildlife watching in East Yorkshire extra special!

Explore our Nature Tourism Business Toolkit

 

Festivals and events all added to the buzz. We helped to organise the first ‘Migration Festival’ at Spurn - now a staple for bird enthusiasts. We also started up the first ‘Flamborough marine wildlife and seabird festival’ which paved the way for the ‘Yorkshire Puffin Festival’.

We built it and they came…

...but the real test was yet to come. We needed to create a sustainable future for East Yorkshire’s nature tourism development.