The current Special Protection Area (SPA) covers Bempton Cliffs round to the southern side of the headland and was designated in response to the internationally important breeding Kittiwake colony in the early 90’s. A few years ago the designation was also extended to cover the general seabird assemblage. Natural England are proposing an extension of the Area around Filey Brigg and towards Cunstone Nab. Although the two Areas will not join up, as Filey Bay will not be designated (unsuitable breeding seabird habitat), they will form a large singular SPA. In addition, Natural England want to introduce a 2km marine extension around both Areas to afford some protection to the bird’s marine habitat. As a European Marine Site consists of an SPA and an SAC (Special Area of Conservation) in tidal waters, this will increase the boundaries of Flamborough EMS significantly. In the U.K. Natural England also underpin SPAs with terrestrial SSSIs which will mean the existing SSSI around Filey Brigg and Flamborough Headland will be re-designated.
Words by Heather Davison, Project Officer at Flamborough Head EMS
To view the Natural England consultation document please follow the below link.