Fancy some seal spotting?
There’s two main types of seal to spot in UK waters – the Grey Seal and the Common Seal and you might be lucky enough to glimpse one or the other as you roam the coastline.
Where to find seals
To increase your chances, visit a seal colony like Blakeney National Nature Reserve in Norfolk or Donna Nook in Lincolnshire. Further afield, try the Orkney Islands, Farne in Northumbria or Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire.
Godrevy Point on the north coast of Cornwall, near St Ives, is a great place to search for seals and do plenty more besides. Park in the National Trust car park and follow the coast path and carefully watch seals from the cliffs. Godrevy is also great for bird-watching, walks and boasts a great beach – popular with surfers – and a café.
Take some binoculars, if you have them, so you can see these lovely creatures close up in all their splendour. A boat trip is a great way to get close up to marine wildlife. Operators run out of nearby St Ives to see the seals and other wildlife. There are usually codes of conduct for operators to follow, but if in doubt check with a conservation charity or tourist board. WiSe is an example of an accreditation scheme for operators.
But if it’s guaranteed seals you’re after then try the Gweek Seal Sanctuary on the Lizard Peninsula on Cornwall’s south coast. It rescues, rehabilitates and then releases seal pups back into the wild. There’s many other wildlife rescue centres and sanctuaries dotted around the UK too which also look after seals and other amazing native species.
Always be wary if you discover a seal or other marine creature washed up on the shore. There’s some strict things to do and things not to, and best thing to do is call the RSPCA or another wildife organisation for help. If there’s a stranded whale or dolphin then you’ll usually find British Marine Life Divers Rescue at the scene. This amazing registered charity is made up of trained volunteers on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Every summer the Wildife Trusts run National Marine Week to raise awareness of the our glorious coast, seaside and water. It’s a great chance to join organised events and activities up and down the country.
Stay safe on the coast
Remember always to stay safe at the coast. Follow official signs and guidance, keep an eye on the tides and weather, don’t go too close to cliff edges or stray too near to the foot of cliffs. Always use your common sense, be prepared, and if in doubt seek official advice from the RNLI , Maritime and Coastguard Agency or local council websites.
The incredible creatures found around our shores and joy of discovering and watching them is a big reason why OCEANROCKS loves and celebrates the coast, seaside and water.
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