Seal surge at Donna Nook

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Donna Nook is a nature reserve 15 miles south of Grimsby. It covers more than 10 km which is about 6.8 miles. This area is part of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and has over 250 species recorded, which is a lot, but the major attraction is the annual arrival of baby seals.

What’s special about Donna Nook is that each year since 1970 Grey/Atlantic seals have been coming here to breed. The seals give birth on the sand dunes and then go back to the sea. This time of the year is very good if you want to go and observe them. Many hundreds of people each year are drawn to Donna Nook to see this spectacle.

At the end of last month, there were only two seal pups, now over six hundred are waddling across the beach chasing their mums for milk.

sealPretty soon some will be plucking up the courage to head out to sea and although their numbers should peak at around 1500, by New Year’s Day you’ll be lucky to see any!

What is surprising is that how many pups (baby seals) have been born every week. The latest total count is 649 to add to the 378 bulls (males) and 956 females (cows).

You can keep an eye on the numbers by clicking here.

Some bad news is that European fighter planes practice their bombing near Donna Nook’s beaches. This is not good for a seal’s health. A few miles south of Donna Nook is the Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary, where seals needing care can be looked after until they’re ready to be returned to the beach.

To see an example of an unfortunate seal experiences check out this YJA film shot at the seal sanctuary in Skegness :

Britain can boast 40% of the world’s grey seal population. Other animals that can be found a Donna Nook are: Snow bunting, sandwich tern and little grebe. Do you know what these look like? If not, why not go and find out at Donna Nook?


Toby, YJA Nature Correspondent (Primary)

Burgh School



2 Responses to Seal surge at Donna Nook

  1. admin November 23, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    Really lovely article Toby. I have not been to see the baby seals at Donna Nook but you describe the scene very well and makes me want to go and see them!

    YJA Co-Editor

  2. Tom December 3, 2015 at 2:51 pm

    I like your article Toby, the baby seals are so cute