A SERIES of clean-up operations begin today on a Yorkshire landmark – amid warnings visitors may have to walk or cycle down it in future.
A decision over rebuilding the road at Spurn Point will not be made until March, when the worst of the winter’s ravages are over.
Water currently washes over an 800m stretch on spring tides – reverting to how it was in the late 18th and early 19th century.
One hundred volunteers have signed up to help clear large amounts of debris washed up on the Point by the exceptional tides this weekend.
Harry Watkins, heritage officer for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said they couldn’t wait to open the gates of the reserve again – but only when it was safe.
A number of options are possible for visitors in future, including a shuttle service.
Mr Watkins said they had hundreds of visitors walking the three-and-a-half miles to the point during last spring and summer when the road was closed, with 800 turning up one weekend alone.
He said: “The people who come here are typically the more determined type.”
He added: “We’d like to see a road again but whether or not that is possible will be determined by the condition of the peninsula –that is something we are going to evaluate in March.
“Our strategy going forward is to encourage cyclists and pedestrians going down there and concentrate our visitor management at the top end of the reserve.”
The trust has planning permission for a £650,000 scheme to use the 19th century lighthouse at the far end of the peninsula to tell its military and heritage history.
They hope to start building work in the late spring, which includes repairing the roof and windows and repainting inside and out.
Mr Watkins said: “We are totally committed to it – we see it as essential to the running of the site and the future of the site.”
The lighthouse has opened a few days a year in recent times for one-off arts events, but the plan is to open it all year round to visitors with displays on its six floors with people able to climb the 145 steps to the top to see the outstanding panoramic views.
People interested in helping in further clean-ups on January 18, 19, 25 or 26 need to book a place with the trust on 01904 659570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.