Record Number Of Pups At Blakeney

21 January 2019, 16:20 | Updated: 21 January 2019, 16:21

Blakeney seal

Three thousand and twelve pups have been born at Blakeney National Nature Reserve in Norfolk, the UK's largest grey seal colony.

It's the highest number since records began 30 years ago.

The National Trust says the remoteness of the reserve and the limited amount of disturbance the seals experience is likely to be providing a perfect habitat for them to breed.

Ranger, Leighton Newman, said: "The count, which began on 25 October, started slowly with fewer numbers born in the early days compared to previous years, but by the last week of November, births were in full swing, with an average of 150 pups being born every day.

"We'd like to say a really big thank you to all of our amazing and dedicated volunteers who have spent their time helping us to monitor the colony and speak to visitors this winter, in often cold and windy conditions.

"We are also fortunate to have a really supportive local community and visitors to the reserve.

"They have helped keep disturbance of the seals to a minimum, sticking to waymarked routes, staying clear of fenced-off areas and ensuring that the seals have the space they need.

"This all helps ensure the colony can thrive."

Around 20,000 grey seal pups have been born at Blakeney over the last 30 years.