It's Seal Season!

East Lincolnshire is lucky to have one of the UK’s largest and most accessible breeding colonies of grey seals.

For much of the year grey seals at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trusts’ Donna Nook National Nature Reserve are at sea or hauled out on distant sandbanks, however every November and December, the seals give birth to their pups near the sand dunes: a wildlife spectacle which attracts visitors from across the UK. In 2015 the total number of pups born reached 1,892, a 5% increase on the previous year and it is expected there will be a further increase this year. Don’t miss out on this amazing opportunity…..

The Viewing Area - open late October to December

There is a dedicated viewing area at the foot of the sand dunes which reduces disturbance to the seals and ensures the safety of visitors. Visitors should be aware that the Ministry of Defence still maintains part of the area as a bombing target range. The seal viewing area is accessible at all times. Seals are large predators and are very powerful. They can move surprisingly quickly and, having teeth similar to a dog, can inflict a nasty bite – including the pups. Mothers with pups can be very protective and big bulls can be aggressive. A mother seal may abandon her pup if it smells of humans or dogs.

The first seal pup this year was born on 24 October 2016, you can visit the Weekly Update page for details of the numbers of seals present.

Visitor Guidelines

For your own safety and to reduce disturbance to the seals, please follow these guidelines:

  • Stay within the viewing area behind the fence
  • Strictly observe all red flag and other bombing range warnings
  • Don't get too close to the seals
  • Never feed or pet the seals
  • No unaccompanied children
  • No dogs
  • Please be considerate when visiting: park only in designated areas
  • If possible, visit during the week. At weekends, the narrow lanes and car park get very congested


  • There is a small car park at Stonebridge (maintained by the local authority). A private operator provides an overflow parking area
  • There are no public toilets in the car park. The nearest public toilets are in North Somercotes village
  • No parking overnight
  • Catering van (private) operates through the season selling hot drinks and food
  • Places to eat and stay are available in North Somercotes and the local area. See the accommodation pages on this website for further information
  • Organised parties should be booked in advance. Contact the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust Headquarters on 01507 526667, email

Photography by Stuart Wilde