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21st July 2020

The Hull Maritime project is asking the public to help gather material for a future display at the refurbished Hull Maritime Museum

The team is looking for any interesting historic wildlife examples linked to the River Hull and Humber and also any contemporary stories including your own sightings and photos.

Working in partnership with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, a new display will look the natural history of Hull that surrounds the River Hull and Humber. The final timeline will illustrate a natural history of the area looking at fascinating examples from the past and inspiring ones from the present.

Did you know that in the early Middle Ages beavers were plentiful along the banks of the River Hull, giving rise to Beverley’s name? Or that in 1835 a blue whale was stranded in the Humber? Or that the eel-like fish the lamprey was considered a medieval delicacy?

A Redshank - photo by Mike Ashforth

Bringing the story up to date did you know that brook lampreys are rare but still thrive in the River Hull? Or that the much-loved otter has now made a comeback after years of persecution and pollution and has even been seen within the boundaries of Hull along with birds like kingfishers and redshanks? Or that the harbour porpoise is regularly spotted in the Humber? These are just some of the stories that will feature in a new display within the museum.

A Kingfisher by Jonathan Bliss

Robin Diaper, Curator of Maritime and Social History, said: “Now we’re allowed out a bit more, we’d like your help in gathering material for a future display at the Maritime Museum.

“This time we’re celebrating the maritime natural heritage that surrounds the River Hull and Humber. We would love to hear about your exciting sightings along the River Hull or Humber as your suggestions will help create a new permanent display.

“This is another way in which you can get involved in the Hull Maritime project and a different way of looking at our maritime heritage.” David Craven, East Regional Manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, said: “Wildlife probably isn’t the first thing people think of when they think of Hull, but in fact both the Humber and its tributaries like the River Hull contain a diverse assortment of wildlife including breeding marsh harriers and internationally important wintering waders such as curlew and black-tailed godwit.

“We look forward to contributing to this exciting development, and discovering what wonderful wildlife people have spotted.”

Photos will be shared online and used for reference. A final, edited collection of your examples and information provided by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust will form part of the new permanent displays at the newly refurbished Hull Maritime Museum.

Both reports and photos are very welcome; send your contributions to, via @Hullmaritime on Facebook and Twitter or at