We know lots of you out there have got the Mary Berry touch when it comes to making cakes.  If we can, we'd like to put those skills to good use to help raise awareness of the puffins at Bempton Cliffs - and their plight worldwide.

So welcome to the Great Bempton Bake-off and Puffin Muffins.   The idea is for all you budding bakers to whip up your very own Puffin Muffin (made to any recipe you like) and upload a photo of it to our Facebook page (RSPB North Yorks and East Riding).   

 Avril's Puffin Muffin

Last year, the puffin was placed on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species. http://www.iucnredlist.org/   This means it's as endangered as the African elephant and the lion.  

The good news is that this year our seabird monitoring team did a puffin count on the cliffs (How do you count puffins?  With difficulty.) and the final totals were 1100 pairs and 100 individuals.   So we believe, although this is the first time an official count had been undertaken. that for the time being numbers in the colony here are stable.   

However, that stability is under threat.  While the cliffs where the seabirds nest are protected, their feeding grounds out to sea aren't.  Neither are the sandeels that form the puffins' staple diet.  

To help protect both, the RSPB is asking the Government to go ahead with a second tranche of Marine Conservation Zones to complete the national network and include designation for mobile species including seabirds as well as the sandeels that are so important to their survival. 

 Hazel's Puffin Muffin

So how are Puffin Muffins going to help?   Well, the more that puffins are in the spotlight, the more opportunities we have to talk about them and rally support.   But to make the plan work, we need Britain's bakers to swing into action.    As an added incentive, the best muffin will get a set of RSPB cake tins - and we're aiming to get a recipe leaflet produced so everyone can recreate the winning entry at home.  

 Please spread the word.  And... ready, steady, bake.   

 Sara's Puffin Muffins

 Joshua's Puffin Muffin