Robin Hood’s Bay

Nature & Wildlife

The North Yorkshire coast and moorland is a haven for flora and fauna.  Whether it is birdwatching, rock pooling, looking out for sea mammals or admiring the diverse plants and flowers that adorn the cliffs, meadows, woods and moorland - there is much to enjoy outdoors in Robin Hood's Bay and the surrounding area. 

In early summer 2020, a community led project was initiated by RHBTA Ltd on a stretch of coastal landscape in Robin Hood’s Bay.  The aim is to preserve valuable species and habitats that have become established in recent years whilst also restoring some of the open landscape that has existed for at least the past 100 years or so, encouraging the development of wildflower meadow areas that will attract pollinators and further diversify wildlife habitats.  As well as environmental benefits, this approach is intended to enhance local community and visitor enjoyment of the area, with more open views and a pleasanter environment to walk through, sit a while, picnic or play. The management plan for 2021/22 can be found here along with the current species list and more background (note: the file takes a while to load, please be patient !)

This coast is unique in terms of its sheer diversity and abundance of marine wildlife. The North Sea supports over 230 different species of fish.  Hundreds of thousands of sea birds live along the Yorkshire Coast, and offshore there are Minke Whales, Bottle-nosed Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises.  Seal colonies comprising the Common Seal and the Grey Seal can be seen (from a distance) all the year round. It is very important not to disturb the seals, so please don't approach them and keep dogs on a lead at all times.  For more information see Watching Seals Well.

Its not unusual to spot Minke Whales and Harbour Porpoise when you take a whale spotting trip out from Whitby, or sharing the beach with Oyster Catchers, Cormorants, Herons and other sea birds.  And it isn't that rare to come across a native Adder whilst wandering through the countryside too, so be careful where your dog sniffs otherwise they may end up with a snake bite to the nose! 

This coast is home to two Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserves, Flamborough Cliffs which is just over an hour from Robin Hoods Bay and Spurn Point which is a little further.  In fact this area forms part of an area so full of wildlife that its referred to as the Yorkshire Nature Triangle. 

Unfortunately, approximately 20,000 tonnes of plastic that makes its way in to the North Sea each year and each piece of plastic has the potential to harm our marine wildlife and sea birds. A recent study showed that 95% of Sea Fulmars had plastic in their stomach!  So we would really appreciate it if you could work with us to reduce the use of plastic and other forms of litter. We know it’s not easy so please make good use of the many bins in and around the village. Face masks are proving to be a real hazard to all forms of wildlife, so please ensure when disposing of face masks that the elastic is cut or snapped. 

For every piece of plastic that is removed from our beach, it is one less piece of plastic that can harm our wildlife.  You can help by picking up any rubbish that you find washed up on the beach and disposing of it appropriately – its everyone’s responsibility!  The community of Robin Hood's Bay hold regular beach cleans and we always welcome extra helpers.  So if you would like to take part please follow Robin Hood's Bay seasonal beach survey on facebook or see www.ywt.org.uk

Thank you to https://www.whitby-photography...for the wild bird photographs

But it's not just wildlife that we have, there is nothing more breathtaking than vibrant mauve heather which carpets the moors for as far as the eye can see during the summer months.  We are also very fortunate to be home to the rare orchid Epipactis Purpurata x Helleborine, a hybrid of the broad leaved and violet helleborines.  It has never been recorded anywhere this far north before, please feel free to look and take pictures but please don't cut or remove these precious flowers from their natural habitat.

Built by Jack Barber in Whitby, North Yorkshire. Visit Herbal Apothecary for herbal practitioner supplies, Sweet Cecily's for natural skincare, BeeVital for propolis health supplements and Future Health Store for whole foods, health supplements, natural & ethical gifts.