03.1 Spurn NNR

Spurn NNR is one of the most fragile, rich and challenging nature reserves that the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust manages: a thin stripe of sand across the Humber Estuary. Due to its unique geomorphology and importance to wildlife, Spurn is protected by international and national legislation, with designations including NNR, SPA, SAC, SSSI, Ramsar and Heritage Coast.

Protecting what makes Spurn special is a real challenge: at every turn visitor, wildlife and coastal impacts are pressing and heritage is at risk. YWT launched their Spurn Gateway project to manage this, ensuring that these pressures can be balanced, providing a long-term commitment to rectify the historic underinvestment in the reserve, bringing together new visitor facilities, new staff, restoration of the lighthouse, improved habitat management, secure access for visitors and an investment in events and training.

As part of this, Rootstock have drawn up a Master Plan and an Access Plan for the Kilnsea Triangle  to balance the need to improve habitat management with improvements to the visitor access. As the project has developed, Rootstock have also carried out a Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment for the proposed Visitor Centre, working with Salt Architects and Footprint Ecology.

It’s often said that the Humber drains a fifth of England. By contrast, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust see Spurn as the gateway to a fifth of England. From the top of the lighthouse you can see across the Humber to the hills of the Lincolnshire Wolds, the Bull Sands and Haille Sands Forts, Grimbsy’s Italianate Water Tower, Immingham’s Edwardian coal jetty, Hull docks, Saltend chemical works, Easington gas works, and hundreds of ships passing through the deep water channel. It’s a view that by day seems the most remote in England, and at night the centre of Yorkshire’s industry.