Spurn Point is one of the most striking features of Britain's coastline, stretching
for three and a half miles across the Humber Estuary.
It's one of the most
fragile and unique environments in the whole of the UK.
This stretch of coastline is made of boulder
clay that was deposited during the Ice Age.
The clay is really soft and
unstable, and is prone to being eroded by the sea.
In fact this is the 6th
Spurn to be recorded - the others have been washed away, and new ones formed in
This curving spit is only 50 metres wide in places, making
it look like an elongated tongue.
Spurn is a relatively small place but
it's got lots of variety, and, if you know where to look, there's some great plants
It has become a dumping ground from sand and pebbles from
further up the coast, making the beach a great place for fossil hunters.
fragile but unique location means that there are many different communities of
plants living side by side.
Many of the plants at Spurn have adapted to
live in this quite hostile environment.
The island's sand dunes are a good
place to find Sea Buckthorn and Marram Grass, species which help to stabilise
and bind the dunes together through their root systems.
You can also find
Sea Holly which grows on dunes especially where the sand is moving around - these
are plants designed to retain moisture.
On the other side of Spurn, the
island is washed by the waters of the Humber twice a day so the vegetation has
to adapt to being immersed every 12 hours.
Plants such as Glasswort are
also helping to build the next Spurn Point with their roots helping to solidify
Another striking plant of the dunes is the Sea Bindweed, characterised
by its small, flashy leaves and large pink and white flowers.
Spurn is best known for its birds, and the best time to see them
is early in the morning.
The island is on a north-south-east-west axis
for passing birds, resulting in some real oddities that land on Spurn out of the
In August and September bird watchers can spot Wheatear, Whinchat,
Redstart, and Spotted Flycatchers.
Many wading birds like to feed on the
mudflats, where they probe for worms and other creatures. Look out for Dunlin,
Redshank and Curlews.
Large numbers of Shelduck gather in the estuary, just
near Warren Cottage, in the winter, along with Brent Geese which over winter at
Spurn between November and March.
Spurn Point is also an important wildlife haven for reptiles including
the common lizard.
Common lizards come in all sorts of beautiful colours,
and the best time to see them is during July when they are giving birth to their
This island habitat is also great for insects, including Caterpillars
Look out for the Lackey Moth, with striped colours resembling
the livery lace once worn by servants or lackeys.
These communal moths
hang out in great numbers in trees, possibly to keep an even temperature or as
a defence mechanism against predators.
Spurn is also a good place to look
for amphibians such as Newts which live on the saltwater shoreline here.