'Breathtaking sight': First seal pups of the season born at Norfolk's Blakeney Point

  • The seal pups at Blakeney Point, Norfolk, in footage filmed and supplied by the National Trust.

The first seal pups of the season have been born at a North Sea site expecting to welcome up to 4,500 of the youngsters over the coming months.

Blakeney Point, on the north Norfolk coast, is home to England's largest colony of grey seals, as the population has grown dramatically over the past 25 years.

In 2001, just 25 seal pup births were recorded, with the following success of the colony believed to be due to the abundance of fish to feed on in the North Sea, low levels of disturbance during the pups’ first few weeks of life, and a lack of natural predators.   

A seal colony at Blakeney Point. Credit: National Trust

Duncan Halpin, a ranger for the National Trust on the north Norfolk coast, said: “Over the coming months, Blakeney Point will be carpeted in grey seals, as something in the region of 4,500 cow seals come ashore to have their pups.

“It’s a breathtaking sight and is testimony to the potential of our marine life to thrive when the right conditions, and protection from disturbance, are in place.”

The seals are much-loved by tourists in Norfolk, but the National Trust says visitors must not disturb the animals. Credit: National Trust

All of the photos shared by the National Trust were taken either from a boat or using a long-range lens, with photographers accompanied at all times by experienced rangers to ensure the colony was not disturbed, said the charity.

The best way to view the grey seal colony at Blakeney Point is through a seal boat tour operator, it added.

A baby seal enjoying a lie down. Credit: National Trust

It is possible to view the colony by walking from Cley beach, however there is a protective cordon that will limit how close visitors can get to the main seal colony.

Dogs are not permitted along this stretch of the reserve during pupping season.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know