Swimming with the seals at the Farne Islands

They are one of our most important natural tourist attractions.

The Farne Islands lie off the coast of Northumberland and are most famous for their large puffin colony.

Snorkelling at the Farne Islands

But it is not just puffins that call the collection of islands home.

Thousands of seals are based there all year, living and breeding in the waters of the North Sea.

On land they can be wary and even aggressive, but in the water they become inquisitive and graceful.

Ross dived at the opportunity to swim with them. His guide was Jane Hardy, open water swimmer and the first English woman to swim an 'ice kilometre' in the Antarctic sea in just a swimming costume.

Our seas are a rich habitat for birds, mammals, fish and many other kinds of life.

Less pollution and more awareness has led to a cleaner coastline - something we must protect.

Farne Island jellyfish

The grey seals on the Farne Islands won't start having pups until winter, during summer you may come across the pups of the rarer common seal.

If you find a seal pup you think is in need of help DO NOT APPROACH it. The chances are its mother is not too far away. However, if you have real concerns for its welfare - contact the BDMLR on 01825 765546