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Birth of first grey seal heralds start of Norfolk’s winter wildlife spectacular

First grey seal pup of season. Pictures: National Trust

First grey seal pup of season. Pictures: National Trust

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National Trust rangers at Blakeney Point were greeted with a lovely surprise when they came across the first new-born grey seal of the season.

First grey seal pup of season born at Blakeney Point. Pictures: National TrustFirst grey seal pup of season born at Blakeney Point. Pictures: National Trust

Preparations for the new arrivals have been well under way for a couple of weeks and whilst out doing checks on Thursday morning the exciting discovery was made.

This birth heralds the start of Norfolk’s winter wildlife spectacular that last year saw 2,700 pups being born on this remote spit in north Norfolk, making it the largest in England.

It’s an exciting but busy time for the National Trust team at Blakeney National Nature Reserve and assistant ranger Ryan Doggart was delighted to spot the fluffy white pup whilst doing his rounds on Blakeney Point.

He said: “I was just making my way along the beach towards the end of Blakeney Point and was keeping an eye out for any arrivals.

First grey seal pup of season born at Blakeney Point. Pictures: National TrustFirst grey seal pup of season born at Blakeney Point. Pictures: National Trust

“I spotted it by the sand dune and it looked so cute just lying there snoozing in the sun.

“I’m really excited to be the person to spot the first grey seal pup of the season and couldn’t wait to share the news with my colleagues.”

Thousands of visitors from miles around make the trip to see the pups at Blakeney every winter and an army of National Trust volunteer Seal Rangers are again ready to meet and greet visitors who have made the long trek up Blakeney Point.

The pups are born with beautiful white fur coats and large black eyes making them a very cute sight indeed.

First grey seal pup of season born at Blakeney Point. Pictures: National TrustFirst grey seal pup of season born at Blakeney Point. Pictures: National Trust

They are fed on their mother’s milk for three weeks before heading into the sea for the first time.

Bull seals fight for territory around this time too, with mating taking place soon after pupping, making it quite a dramatic place to be.

The seal colony is very sensitive to any kind of disturbance at this time, such as human visitors, and this can lead to abandonment or crushing of the pups which can be fatal. Always keep your distance from any seals you come across and keep dogs on a short lead.

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