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Recording at Flamborough
Background to Northcliff Marsh | Print |

Flamborough Observatory recording area is a diverse landscape of many habitats. From the woodlands of Danes Dyke to the littoral zone below the fog station, this diversity is reflected in the high number of bird species recorded annually.


Historically the area was also rich in many small farm and village ponds, the largest area in winter being the flooded grazing marsh close to Northcliff Farm. In th e Northcliff Marsh with sluice in foreground m id 1980’s birders remember the whole site being flooded, with over 100 Wigeon recorded. Since this time change s in land management combined with dry winters have led to progressive drying out of the site with hard grasses and mats of vegetation swamping the previously open water. The landscape was changed further with the demolition of the farm buildings and the land was subsequently bought by the golf course. Throughout the 1990’s and up to 2007 there was only a small pool in the middle of the site which attracted the occasional Redshank and Snipe.





In 2006 an opportunity arose with the arrival of funds through Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship scheme. Simon Waines, the landowner/farmer, was also keen to re-establish a thriving habitat for birds. In August 2007 after design and help from the RSPB, Steve Wadsworth (FBO) and many others, a relatively large area of wetland pools were planned. The excavation work was carried out by Beverley farmer Chris Freer, who commented as I stood up to my waist in mud, ‘I’ve never seen somebody so excited by water!’ Shortly afterwards a permissive access path was established and a small group of local birders built a screen from which to watch the site.