:"Spurn" can have other meanings, see the ."infobox UK place
country = England
official_name= Spurn Head
East Riding of Yorkshire
region= Yorkshire and the Humber
East Riding of Yorkshire
constituency_westminster= Beverley and Holderness
postcode_district = HU12
static_image_caption=Spurn in May 2005, showing the lighthouse and sand-dunes.
Spurn Point (or Spurn Head as it is also known) is a narrow sand spit on the tip of the coast of the
East Riding of Yorkshire, Englandthat reaches into the North Seaand forms the north bank of the mouth of the Humberestuary. It is over Convert|3|mi|km|lk=on long, almost half the width of the estuary at that point, and as little as Convert|50|yd|m|lk=on wide in places. The southernmost tip is known as Spurn Head or Spurn Point and is the home to an RNLIlifeboat station and disused lighthouse. It forms part of the civil parishof Easington.
Spurn Head covers Convert|113|ha|km2|lk=on above high water and Convert|181|ha|km2|lk=off of foreshore. It has been owned since 1960 by the
Yorkshire Wildlife Trustand is a designated National Nature Reserve, Heritage Coastand is part of the Humber Flats, Marshes and Coast Special Protection Area.
In the Middle Ages, Spurn Head was home to the port of
Ravenspurn(aka Ravenspur or Ravensburgh), which was the site of Edward IV's landing on March 14, 1471, when he returned from his six months' exile in the Netherlands. An earlier village, closer to the point of Spurn Head, was Ravenser Odd. Along with many other villages on the Holdernesscoast, Ravenspurn and Ravenser Odd were lost to the encroachments of the sea, as Spurn Head, due to erosion and deposition of its sand, migrated westward. [ [http://www.yorkshirehistory.com/RAVENSER/index.htm History of Ravenser Odd ] ]
The lifeboat station at Spurn Head was built in 1810. Owing to the remote location, houses for the lifeboat crew and their families were added a few years later. The station is now the only one in the UK which has full-time paid staff.
World War Itwo coastal artilleryConvert|9.2|in|mm|lk=on|adj=on batteries were added at either end of Spurn Head, with convert|4|in|mm|sing=on and convert|4.7|in|mm|sing=on quick firing guns in between. The emplacements can be clearly seen, and the northern ones are particularly interesting as coastal erosion has partly toppled them onto the beach, revealing the size of the concrete foundations very well. The Information Centre has a leaflet describing the defences.
As well as a road, the peninsula also used to have a railway, parts of which can still be seen. Unusual 'sail bogies' [http://www.mike.munro.cwc.net/ng_rly/sailtruc/sailtruc.htm] were used as well as more conventional light railway equipment.
The peninsula is made up from sand and shingle eroded from the
Holdernesscoastline washed down the coastline from Flamborough Head. Material is washed down the coast by longshore driftand accumulates to form the long, narrow embankment in the sheltered waters inside the mouth of the Humber estuary. It is maintained by plants, especially Marram grass("Ammophila arenaria"). Waves carry material along the peninsula to the tip, continually extending it; as this action stretches the peninsula it also narrows it to the extent that the sea can cut across it in severe weather. When the sea cuts across it permanently, everything beyond the breach is swept away, only to eventually reform as a new spit pointing further south. This cycle of destruction and reconstruction occurs approximately every 250 years.
The second of the "Six Studies in English Folk Song for Cello" composed in 1926 by
Ralph Vaughan Williams, the "Andante sostenuto" in E flat "Spurn Point" celebrates this peninsula.
It was featured on the television programme "
Seven Natural Wonders" as one of the wonders of Yorkshire.
The mud flats are an important feeding ground for wading birds, and the area has a
bird observatory, for monitoring migrating birds and providing accommodation to visiting birdwatchers. Their migration is assisted by east winds in autumn, resulting in drift migrationof Scandinavian migrants, sometimes leading to a spectacular "fall" of thousands of birds. Many uncommon species have been sighted there, including a Cliff Swallowfrom North America, a Lanceolated Warblerfrom Siberia and a Black-browed Albatrossfrom the Southern Ocean. More commonly, birds such as Wheatears, Whinchats, Common Redstarts and flycatchers alight at Spurn on their way between breeding and wintering grounds elsewhere. When the wind is in the right direction migrants are funnelled down Spurn Point and are counted at the Narrows Watchpoint, more than 15000 birds can fly past on a good morning in autumn with 3000 quite normal.
* [http://www.britainexpress.com/countryside/coast/spurn.htm Spurn Head Heritage Coast]
* [http://www.fortunecity.com/greenfield/ecolodge/25/spurn.htm Spurn Point- A cyclic coastal landform] , showing an excellent aerial photograph
* [http://www.spurnbirdobservatory.co.uk/ Spurn Bird Observatory]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.