‘If they are interfered with, they will die’ - concerns for seal pups ahead of second lockdown

A grey seal with her newborn pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A grey seal with her newborn pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Incredible photographs of the first newborn seal pups at a Norfolk beach have prompted campaigners to highlight the importance of wardens as a second national lockdown approaches.

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the pupping season begins at one the U

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the pupping season begins at one the UK's most important sites for the mammals. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The vice chairman of the Friends of Horsey Seal David Vyse has said it could put the seal pups at risk.

Horsey Beach was closed off to the public last week until January due to the increasing number of pregnant grey seals starting to gather at the beach.

The Friends of Horsey Seal have 300 wardens that look after the beach to ensure visitors do not get to close to the seals during pupping season.

Members of the public are told not to come within 50 metres of the seals because it could cause the mothers to abandon their pups early.

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the pupping season begins at one the U

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the pupping season begins at one the UK's most important sites for the mammals. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA


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Mr Vyse said: “If we aren’t able to warden, I just don’t know what will happen to the seals - they will just be pushed back into the sea, they will be abandoned.”

The car parks around the beach will be shut but with more than 100,000 visitors to the area last year, Mr Vyse said he does not think that will be enough to stop members of the public visiting.

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The beaches have been roped off, with people told to keep to the sand dunes above to view the seals.

Pupping season is due to last until February and last year 2,316 pups were born.

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the pupping season begins at one the U

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the pupping season begins at one the UK's most important sites for the mammals. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Mr Vyse said: “There are areas where people can go on the beach and the wardens won’t be there to tell them, so it will be a free-for-all.

“If they are interfered with, they will die.

“Over Christmas, it is like Piccadilly Circus there and that’s why we have to warden.

“I hope we are allowed to but there will be a lot who won’t be able to do it because of the lockdown, for family reasons and so on.”

A grey seal with her newborn pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A grey seal with her newborn pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Once born, the pups remain with their mother for three weeks, during which they grow to three times their size, before she returns to the sea.”

A newborn grey seal pup suckles from its mother on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk: Joe Giddens/PA Wi

A newborn grey seal pup suckles from its mother on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A grey seal with her newborn pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A grey seal with her newborn pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the pupping season begins at one the U

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the pupping season begins at one the UK's most important sites for the mammals. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A grey seal with her newborn pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A grey seal with her newborn pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A newborn grey seal pup suckles from its mother on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk. Picture: Giddens/

A newborn grey seal pup suckles from its mother on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk. Picture: Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the pupping season begins at one the U

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the pupping season begins at one the UK's most important sites for the mammals. Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A grey seal with her newborn pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A grey seal with her newborn pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

A newborn grey seal pup on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

A common seal on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the grey seal pupping season begins Picture: Joe

A common seal on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk, as the grey seal pupping season begins Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Grey seals on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Grey seals on the beach at Horsey in Norfolk Picture: Joe Giddens/PA Wire - Credit: PA

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