THE RSPB will be joined by special guests, key partners and volunteers at a celebration event, to officially mark the opening of its new Seabird Centre at Bempton Cliff on Thursday, June 25.

RSPB staff and volunteers will be welcoming a wide number of people and organisations who helped to develop and deliver the new centre. Mike Clarke, RSPB Chief Executive, will be joining Keith Clarkson, Bempton Cliffs Site Manager, Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and The Humber (HLF) and ‘the Reverend Barnes-Lawrence’ (played by an actor), in welcoming guests to the site and celebrating the success it has seen in the first few months.

Mike Clarke, RSPB Chief Executive, said: “I’m so pleased and proud to be officially opening the new Seabird Centre at Bempton Cliffs, which offers some of the most stunning coastal views in the UK. The new centre not only represents the common goal held by our organisation and key partners, to connect more of the general public with the nature that surrounds them, but also a collective effort to make this possible.

“The opening event will be a great chance to say a proper thank you to all of the different funders that have been involved in helping Bempton Cliffs begin this successful endeavour. Once the celebrations have taken place, there will also be opportunity for guests to be wowed by the wildlife on the towering cliffs, and perhaps even spot some puffins.”

Keith Clarkson said: “Since opening the new centre in April, we have had a phenomenal response from our visitors. The additional indoor space we now have means we can tell the story of the rich cultural and natural heritage of this section of the Yorkshire Coast, and engage more people with the history of the area.

“This celebration event is to say thank you to everyone involved in the project for all their support and hard work in getting to where we are today.”

Fiona Spiers, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Yorkshire and The Humber, said: “We have been delighted to support RSPB in its project to revitalise the visitor experience at the site of one of the country’s largest colonies of breeding seabirds and to reinforce the vital role that Bempton Cliffs has played and continues to play in conserving the UK’s natural heritage.” Guests on the day will be welcomed with a drinks reception, followed by speeches from special guests. They then have the option of joining in one of two guided walks around the site, led by a knowledgeable Bempton Cliffs team member.

The new centre officially opened to the public on Good Friday (3 April 2015) in time for Easter weekend visitors. The opening also coincided with the return of the quarter of a million seabirds that make their home on the cliffs each year.

The centre has been a massive success story so far. Since opening, there have been 35,000 visitors enjoying the wonders of the cliffs and 750 new members joining the RSPB at the site, which means a huge boost in support for the conservation work that takes place at the reserve. There have also been 27 school visits, and throughout 2015 staff at the reserve aim to introduce 2000 children to the stunning views and coastal wildlife in the surrounding area.

The new visitor centre is open daily from 9.30 am – 5 pm in summer, and from 9.30 am – 4 pm in winter. Entry is free to RSPB members. For non-members, admission is £3.50 for adults, £2 for children (aged 5-17) and £8.50 for families (two adults and two children). For further information, visit, call the reserve on 01262 422212 or like ‘RSPB North Yorks & East Riding’ on Facebook.