Springwatch brings region’s wildlife delights to new audience

A gannet and its mate wearing a 'necklace' of red campion, taken at RSPB Bempton. Credit Steve Race.
A gannet and its mate wearing a 'necklace' of red campion, taken at RSPB Bempton. Credit Steve Race.
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As many as 2m people could tune into BBC Springwatch special on Good Friday beamed from the new RSPB centre at Bempton where stars Chris Packham and Michaela Stracham get close up to thousands of gannets and a host of other wildlife.

The presenters’ arrival coincided with some glorious weather as they explored the coast from Filey Brigg to South Landing at Flamborough.

From the fishing vessel Yorkshire Lass Chris Packham got to see Britain’s largest mainland gannet breeding colony from under the cliffs at Staple Newk - and some early Easter eggs.

Michaela Strachan got to see one of the most beautiful beaches in Yorkshire, South Landing, and the colourful but hard to spot blennies in the rock pools

The show goes out the same day that the centre opens following more than £1.3m investment - which the centre’s manager Keith Clarkson said was the “best free publicity we have ever had.”

“It really does put this part of the East Yorkshire coast on the map and raise awareness to people,” he added.

“It is bound to bring more people into the area and it is bound to be of benefit, with people coming and spending more money into the local economy.”

Mr Clarkson, the centre’s manager said it was amazing seeing the gannet colony from below and the long lines of birds streaming away from the cliffs, which led to someone remarking that it was “Yorkshire’s Serengeti”

He said: “It was lovely getting the Easter eggs - possibly one of the earliest breeding records of gannets that we are aware of - and it was incredible to see.”

Tom Marshall, from the Yorkshire nature triangle project, which promotes wildlife-watching in East Yorkshire, said: “The puffins will undoubtedly always be the stars of the show, but we hope that the Springwatch at Easter special will bring just a taste of what we have to offer to a brand new audience.”

Springwatch at Easter will be on BBC2 on Good Friday from 9pm.