Saturday, 5 December 2009

Visiting Donna Nook

It was a lovely sunny start to the day so I decided to go out. I had it in mind to try and get in the festive spirit and visit the big Christmas Market in Lincoln, it really is spectacular. But the thought of being squashed amongst thousands of visitors and herded around like sheep, peering over peoples heads trying to get a look at the stalls, just didn't appeal. So I went for my second choice, the healthy option.
I arrived at Donna Nook just after midday, and although there was a lot of people about I managed to get a place in the car park. You wont find Donna Nook in a road atlas because the road leading up to it is a dead end before you fall into the sea. It is near the village of North Somercotes, half way between Cleethorpes and Mablethorpe on the Lincolnshire coast. It is home to an RAF bombing range, but that wasn't what I had come to see. This is also a Wildlife Trust nature reserve, and every year at this time hundreds of seals come onto the sand dunes to give birth. It has one of the largest and most accessible breeding colonies of the grey seal in the UK.

From 27th October to 30th November, 1,082 pups have been born. The conditions for them are ideal here, mainly saltmarshes, inter-tidal mudflats, and sandbanks. You can walk along a footpath which is separated by a fence from the breeding area. The seals come very close, it's very tempting to reach out and touch the pups, but you must not, because the mothers would smell your scent and abandon them. It's a wonderful sight, those gorgeous big eyes just melt your heart.
Leaving Donna Nook I decided to vist the Seal Sanctuary at Mablethorpe ten miles down the coast. There is a hospital for rescued seals, some of them have been caught up in fishing nets, and are at various stages of treatment. Eventually when they make a full recovery they will be released back into the wild. They have two permanent residents that have been there since 1986, they can't be released because they are both blind, so they will live out their days at the sanctuary. I think my second choice was much better, don't you? I hope you like my photos. If you want to read more about the seals at Donna Nook look here


  1. Brilliant post Ilona! And yes of course you chose the better option... they are soooo beautiful. :-)

  2. "Christmas Shopping crowd-madness" versus "Seal Sanctuary" ?

    ...No contest. ;))