One of the most famous animals to live on the Lincolnshire coast, but I’m also one of the rarest seals in the world!
One of two species of seal found in the UK, grey seal is larger than the common seal and is covered head to flipper in grey and brown fur. When adult, they can grow to around 2 metres long, and live to be up to 35 years old. They hunt for fish and sand eels off the coast but use the beaches year-round to rest and also to have pups! Grey seal pups are very cute, covered in fluffy white fur to keep them warm, and they are born on the beaches between September and December. They’ll join the adults in the water and learn to hunt for themselves once they’ve grown and their white coat has moulted. Grey seal mums are very sensitive to humans, so do not approach the seals or their pups as the stress that it causes can lead to the pup being abandoned.
The grey seal's Latin name, Halichoerus grypus, means hook-nosed sea pig!
You can often spot their heads bobbing about in the water, or you can find them hauled out and relaxing or digesting food on the beaches and rocks at Donna Nook, Lincolnshire, at the tip of the dunes at South Walney, Cumbria, and off the coast of Cornwall.
Projects protecting Grey Seal
At Penhale, you can’t miss these eye-catching dunes, standing around 90 metres above sea level, they’re pretty tall for a dune system. On the north coast of Cornwall near the town of Perranporth, Penhale Dunes are part of the Cornish Killas National Character Area and a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The wide and sandy, three kilometre-long Perran beach in front provides sand for the dune system, which is blown up into the dunes by the wind.
Our work on the Cumbrian Coast takes place across many different sites; Grune Point, Silloth Dunes, Drigg Dunes, Eskmeals, Haverigg, Roanhead, Sandscale Haws, North Walney including West of Airfield, and South Walney. The project is led in Cumbria by Natural England, working with Cumbria Wildlife Trust and National Trust.