Beach closed as Atlantic Grey Seals return to Norfolk
- Credit: James Bass © 2015
A voluntary beach closure has been put in place at Horsey Beach to protect baby seals as the pupping season gets under way.
Atlantic Grey Seals travel to Norfolk each autumn to give birth to their pups.
Each season sees an increase in population with conservationists hoping to see more than 2,000 seals on beaches this time around.
A spokesman for Friends of Horsey Seals said: 'We have now put the voluntary beach closure in place at Horsey and started our wardening sessions this weekend.
'As the seals moved further along to Winterton last year we also have wardens in place at Winterton.
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'Our season has kicked off slowly with only a few pups so far with a couple being stillborn. We will start reporting the numbers from the weekly seal count next week.'
The spokesman also provided advice for those intended to visit the pups.
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They said: 'If visiting Horsey, please keep to the viewing areas at all times.
'If visiting Winterton, please respect the signs and wardens advice. The seals and pups could be on the beach or in the dunes and the mothers will be very protective of their pups.
'It is important, especially at Winterton, to please keep dogs on leads and away from the seals.
'It is important to protect the seals and pups from disturbance and to give the pup the very best start in its first three weeks, which is the most important. Too much disturbance leads to abandonment.'
They added: 'If you see a seal and pup away from Horsey, please keep a safe distance, keep dogs on a lead and remember they are wild animals that will bite and protect their pups.'