View of sea cliffs, RSPB Ramsey Island

Marine and coastal recreation

Getting out on to, or into, the water is a great way to see wildlife and improve your health and wellbeing, but it must be done with respect for the environment.

Recreation and conservation go hand in hand

Our coastal reserves, such as Bempton Cliffs and Ramsey Island, are some of the best places to see seabirds in their natural environment from the water.

When done properly, recreation and conservation often go hand in hand.

We're keen to support low-impact forms of recreation which allow people to connect with nature at sea while leaving no trace. We work at a local level with recreational users and clubs at various locations around the UK to ensure seabirds and other wildlife are not disturbed by the presence of recreation, just like any other activity. 

Aerial view of RSPB Bempton Cliffs nature reserve

Sea kayaking

We've teamed up with British Canoeing to produce handy guidance to help encourage safe and sustainable sea kayaking.

You, Your Canoe and Marine Environment helps paddlers know what to do and look out for when passing through some of the UK's rocky crags, tidal pools or coastal waters, from birds to seals, cetaceans and even jellyfish!

There is lots of information for canoeists on enjoying our seas responsibly and safely, but a key tip is to find our about the area before you go, including what species may be present or any protected area designations, which may have certain restrictions on human activities where they have a potential to damage or disturb wildlife.

Paddling at a safe distance from wildlife and keeping noise and sudden movements to a minimum are also important pieces of advice. Look, then move on - don’t linger for too long. And have fun!

Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve

Jet skis

We're also aware of the potential for jet skis and other forms of personal watercraft (PWC) to cause disturbance and even direct injury to wildlife.

While we don't want to see a ban on jet skiing, we do want to see it well-managed around sensitive areas for seabirds, including in protected areas.