About the Spurn Migration Festival
The Spurn Migration Festival was the brainchild of two Spurn stalwarts – Martin Garner and Andy Roadhouse. Having run several guided events for small groups, they were pleasantly surprised how much the participants got out of them – even on mediocre days. This sowed a seed in their minds – could they hold a much bigger event – a Migration Festival! They went about trying to convince others of their idea and work out how on earth they could pull it off.
They kicked the idea around for nearly a year, but in early 2013 they hit on the idea of using Westmere Farm to the host the whole festival. Martin and Andy broached the idea with Sue and Andrew Wells (the owners of Westmere) and despite some raised eyebrows and a lot of questions, they agreed and the rest as they say is history!
From the first festival held in September 2013, it has continued to grow year on year and become one of the most popular events on the birding calendar. Bird migration is one of the great wonders of the natural world and Spurn is arguably the best place in Britain to witness this spectacle. The Festival is now staged jointly by the Spurn Bird Observatory Trust (SBOT) and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO). This partnership has helped the festival continue to grow and become much more professional, while at the same time keeping the friendly, welcoming feel.
The festival has something for everyone – guided walks, lunchtime talks, exhibitors stalls with optics, books, artists, holidays etc., the famous Spurn Ladies providing food throughout and a headline guest speaker who will give a talk - now named the Andy Roadhouse Memorial Lecture in his honour - and hopefully lots of birds to see across the weekend
There are many walks taking place over the weekend - migration walks, bird identification walks, a bat walk on Friday evening and even a plant walk. From early morning Saturday and Sunday there are migration watches and bird ringing demonstrations taking place. There are also art classes on both days run by renowned artist Darren Woodhead with photography and digiscoping classes as well.
As part of the Festival, Spurn Bird Observatory and the British Trust for Ornithology run a competition to find the Martin Garner Spurn Young Birder of The Year - the competition named in Martin’s honour. This prestigious contest is open to all young birders up to the age of 16. With two categories, U13’s and U16’s - the winner of the U16’s competition receives a brand new pair of Swarovski binoculars very kindly donated by Swarovski Optik and the winner of the U13’s competition recieves a brand new pair of Opticron binoculars very kindly donated by Opticron.
The Spurn Migration Festival (MigFest) is a partnership between Spurn Bird Observatory Trust Ltd (Registered Charity Number 1141408), British Trust for Ornithology ‘BTO’ (Registered Charity Number 216652 (England & Wales), SC039193 (Scotland)) and Westmere Farm.
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Spurn Bird Observatory, Kilnsea Road, Kilnsea, Hull, HU12 0UB