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Just what RSPB Bempton Cliffs wanted for Christmas

Last modified: 18 December 2015

Looking north from Bempton Cliffs

Bempton Cliffs has viewpoints that are fully accessible to wheelchair users

Image: Katie Fuller

Christmas is a time for giving, so when Mrs Charmaine Watson’s husband passed away, she decided to donate his four-wheel drive mobility scooter to RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Peter, who suffered from Multiple Sclerosis, was a keen birdwatcher and often visited the popular Yorkshire Coast nature reserve. 

Mrs Watson explained that the natural world played a big part in his life: “He loved all birds and animals and liked nothing more than to head out into the wilds.  His favourites round here were the puffins – in fact, our cottage in Flamborough is called Puffin’s End.  He would be delighted to know that he’s enabling others to experience what brought him so much pleasure.”

The ‘Tramper’ mobility scooter helped Peter get out and about for as long as possible and he explored Northumberland, Scotland and even France on it, enjoying the wildlife.  And in its new home at Bempton Cliffs it will help others do the same.

Bempton Cliffs is keen to welcome visitors of all abilities and aims to be the most accessible seabird colony in the UK, if not Europe.  Two of its six viewpoints are fully accessible to wheelchair users and wheelchair bays have been built into the platforms to give better sightlines to those who sit rather than stand.  The new seabird centre is also fully accessible and has disabled parking bays immediately adjacent to it. 

Site Manager, Keith Clarkson, said: “Mrs Watson’s generosity will make a huge difference to those who have difficulty coping with some of our paths.  Our cliff-top location can be tricky for those who are unsteady on their feet.   However, we are working hard on initiatives to make getting around the reserve better for everyone and this all-terrain scooter will make a day out here even more memorable for less mobile visitors.  We’d like to say a massive thank you to Mrs Watson for this amazing gift.”

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