Work starts on Flamborough underwater nature centre

Image caption The chalk cliffs at Flamborough Head support a wide range of wildlife

A new visitors centre is aiming to highlight life beneath the waves of East Yorkshire.

The £125,000 Living Seas Centre will be located at Flamborough Head on the East Yorkshire coast.

Visitors will be able to view the local wildlife on land and in the sea, by exploring rock pools and taking guided snorkelling tours.

The centre is being built by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and is set to open in spring 2012.

The area is home to one of the largest chalk reefs in Europe, extending six kilometres out to sea. On the chalk is a large forest of the marine plant kelp.

The manager of the new centre Anthony Hurd said the kelp supported a diverse ecosystem.

'New attractions'

"It not only provides a home to animals, just like a forest would on land, but allows juvenile fish to grow up and other fish to come in and feed on them. So it is a really important habitat."

The centre hopes to build on the region's other wildlife attractions.

Martin Batt, the nature tourism manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said many people were unaware of East Yorkshire's natural environment.

"This centre forms part of a network of new attractions that are all associated with the wildlife of eastern Yorkshire.

"We have an area we've come up with called the nature triangle which stretches up to Scarborough, down to Spurn Point and inland to just west of Hull.

"It's an area which is actually very good for wildlife but actually relatively unknown by most people."

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