Did you hear about the great romance between the seal and wind turbine? New research claims technology behind coastal love affair

Grey seals at Blakeney Point Grey seals at Blakeney Point

Monday, July 28, 2014
8:36 AM

It is one of Norfolk’s most unlikely love affairs but now, according to latest research, new technology has stolen the heart of some of the county’s most famous animals.

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All 88 turbines at the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm. Picture: Ian BurtAll 88 turbines at the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Wind Farm. Picture: Ian Burt

Since their construction, the Sheringham Shoal wind turbines have come under fire from critics claiming the views from Blakeney Point have been spoilt by them - but as far as the seals are concerned this could not be further from the truth.

Health, science and technology website Dumb Out claimed that GPS technology, which tracked the movements of seals, showed that they moved from one turbine to another looking for prey.

In the online article recently published it said: “Marine biologists record the grid pattern of a track made by an offshore wind farm in Norfolk in the latest edition of current biology.

“Researcher Deborah Russell from the University of St Andrews in Scotland was amazed to note that the seal moved in between turbines ‘in a straight line’ looking for prey and stopped at certain spots where it was abundantly found.”

Graham Bean, of Bean’s Boat Trips in Blakeney, said he believed the wildlife had come to accept the structures.

“Most of the animals and bird life will accept what man will put on the planet,” he said. “We don’t know what the seals are thinking and we still don’t know what the affect is, if any, but we still have success here with the animal life.”

During the research, marine biologists tracked two groups of seals at two different wind farms: One at a farm in Alpha Ventus, off the German coast, and Sheringham Shoal.

• What do you think of the research? Write to the Letter’s Editor, with full details of name and address, at Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich, NR1 1RE or email edpletters@archant.co.uk.

• To find out more about other unlikely love affairs see today’s EDP.

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