Migfest has something for everyone – guided walks, lunchtime talks, exhibitors stalls and more.
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), a lot of questions later, they agreed! Migfest has gone from strength to strength since these early days and we now host the Migfest under marquees in North Field.
The festival has something for everyone – guided walks, lunchtime talks, exhibitors stalls with optics, books, artists, holidays etc., the Spurn Ladies BBQ on Saturday evening followed by the headline talk - now named the Andy Roadhouse Memorial Lecture in his honour - and hopefully lots of birds to see across the weekend.
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.
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 and "Digiscoping" classes as well. Food is available throughout the festival weekend and is served by the now legendary Spurn Ladies!
As part of the Festival, the Observatory, and the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) 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 British birders up to the age of 16, with two age categories, U14 and 14-16. The winner of the competition receives either a brand new pair of Swarovski or Opticron binoculars very kindly donated by Swarovski Optik or Opticron.
The 2023 Migration Festival will take place on 8th - 10th September and tickets will go on sale in May 2023. For more information on the festival and to keep up to date with plans for next year’s festival, please visit the Migfest website.Visit the MigFest website here