ABP Observatory set to showcase Humber Estuary as vital trade route and wildlife habitat

September 17, 2014

 A brand new facility at the Cleethorpes Discovery Centre will demonstrate the importance of the Humber Estuary as both a trade route and a wildlife habitat, to tourists and the local community, thanks to North East Lincolnshire Council and Associated British Ports (ABP).

The ABP Observatory forms part of a programme of refurbishment at the centre, which also houses gallery and teaching spaces, a café and a shop, and is located close to the banks of the Humber Estuary. It was officially opened recently by ABP Director Humber, John Fitzgerald, who feels the space is a fantastic addition to the Discovery Centre’s offer. 

“It’s important that we make sure children and young people, families and visitors to the area are aware of the commercial and ecological importance of this Estuary and the ABP Observatory does this in a way that’s interesting, accessible and fun.

“I’m very proud to have been involved in the development of this project and I’m looking forward to seeing how it develops over the coming months and years.”

The new facility features a range of information boards which demonstrate the Humber’s role as the ‘Energy Estuary’, the industries present in the Humber region which are reliant on the river for trade, and the types of cargoes handled by the four Humber ports.

The boards also show the types of wildlife that call the estuary home as well as the kinds of vessel and landmarks that can be seen from the panoramic window using the observatory’s sets of high-power binoculars. Visitors can also use a large interactive screen to learn about the vessels using the Humber in real time.

The idea was the brainchild of North East Lincolnshire Council’s Ecology Officer Mike Sleight, who approached ABP to support the project.

Mike said: “I’m hoping people will be fascinated. When they visit the observatory they like it, and the more that come, the better. It really does put into perspective how important the estuary is.”

More than 3,000 people have visited the observatory over the summer.

Cllr Mick Burnett, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism at North East Lincolnshire Council also attended the opening.

He said: “I am delighted that ABP has sponsored the refurbishment of the observatory at the Discovery Centre.

“The centre attracts more than 150,000 visitors per year and now they’ll have an enhanced observatory from which to view the ships and wildlife on the Humber.”

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