You are almost guaranteed a sighting of a grey seal when you visit the Norfolk Coast any time of year. They are incredibly nosey and will have usually spotted you before you spot them.
But during autumn and winter you will witness an absolutely magical scene of females giving birth to their pups along 2 sections of the Norfolk Coast:
Blakeny Point - The Norfolk Coast National Trust's latest count of pups this season already on Blakeney Point is a whopping 2,136. If you would like to visit them the best way is by boat from Morston Quay.
Horsey - I used to live very close to Horsey beach and would regularly go to see the seals during the late 1990's where we would have the beach all to ourselves and sit and watch up to 20 gorgeous seal pups with their mothers. Today is a totally different story, the grey seal colony is rising every year and are also expecting over 2000 seal pups to be born there this year. A volunteer warden system now manages the vast number of visitors throughout the breeding season as the seals are spread all along the beach and sand dunes from Horsey to Winterton.
With the increase in seal numbers and an organised warden system at Horsey, there has also been a year-on-year rise in the number of visitors to the colony in the winter months. It is now estimated that there are approximately 80,000 visitors to the colony with the majority visiting over the Christmas holidays.
Although there is a voluntary beach closure and designated, wardened viewing areas at Horsey, due to the number of visitors and expansion of the seal colony beyond Horsey, people and seals inevitably come into contact with each other. This can be risky for both, so there are a few things for visitors to consider:
- Keep a minimum of 10 metres from any seal and move quickly on
- Listen and take advise from the seal wardens
- Stay in the designated viewing areas to avoid walking between the seal pup and it's mother
- Keep your dog on a lead at all times and clear up your dogs poop!
- Care for the environment. Only walk on the designated areas to protect the sand dunes
- Take your litter home with you
If you come across a seal who is injured or a pup that you suspect has been abandoned, do NOT approach it but advise a seal warden if available or contact the RSPCA 24hr emergency line: 0300 1234 999
For more information on our grey seal colony's in Norfolk click here