A home to nature, both present-day and ancient

PIC: James Hardisty
PIC: James Hardisty
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Yorkshire boasts some of Britain’s most spectacular coastal scenery. From the windswept Spurn Point jutting out from the lip of the Humber to the gentle charm of Staithes, it encompasses everything from dramatic clifftops, to wide, sprawling beaches and picturesque coves and inlets.

But while the likes of Scarborough and Whitby pull in the crowds from far and wide, Yorkshire is home to several lesser known, but equally impressive, stretches of coastline. None more so than the beach at Danes Dyke, a couple of miles from Flamborough, captured in this photograph.

Flanked by sheer chalk headland cliffs on one side and the chilly North Sea on the other, its pebbles contrast with the flat sandy beach which is revealed when the tide goes out.

Danes Dyke became a designated Local Nature Reserve in 2002 in recognition of its wildlife habitats and its importance to the nearby community.

Nature reserves like this aim to protect places of special interest and Danes Dyke is part of one of the finest coastal stretches along the whole east coast.

As well as being protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, its seabird colonies mark it out as a Special Protection Area. It is also home to a rich variety of marine life and in 1979 the 
area was designated a Heritage Coast.

Danes Dyke acquired its name from the ancient ditch and bank earthwork that cut through the reserve and once made Flamborough an impregnable fortress.

It runs for a couple of miles across the whole of the headland, from the nature reserve in the south to Cat Nab on the Bempton Cliffs to the north.

The soft chalk at Danes Dyke dates back 75 million years 
to the Cretaceous period 
and as well as being a great 
place to find fossils it also happens to be the country’s 
best location for collecting sponges – making it an ideal place for exploring, whether you’re a seasoned fossil collector or a family on a day out at the seaside.

Technical Details: Nikon D3’s, Lens Nikon 12-24mm, Aperture f/16, Shutter Speed 1/80s, ISO 1 EV Under 200.

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