Farne Island puffin census raises fears for the colony

Puffin census Credit: Lee Fisher

It's one of the top attractions in the north east bringing tens of thousands of people to our coast every year.

The Farne Islands are known for their seals and seabird colonies - but we are being warned one of the most iconic species is under threat and may disappear in just a few decades.

Initial findings from the National Trust census suggests a fall in puffin numbers of around 12% compared to the last count in 2013.

A number of factors are being blamed for the apparent decline.

  • A late start to spring

  • An increase in storms in recent years

  • Warming seas forcing sand eels, their main food source, to find colder water

Final numbers will be known, weather dependent, within the next four weeks.