Dead whale washes up on north Norfolk beach

The minke whale carcass on Weybourne beach.

The minke whale carcass on Weybourne beach. - Credit: NNDC

A dead minke whale has washed up below some cliffs in north Norfolk. 

The decayed remains of the mammal, which was once about 10 metres long, was reported at Weybourne, below the old Coast Guard Cottages, over the weekend. 

Carl Chapman, Norfolk's cetacean recorder, went to inspect the carcass after the message was passed onto him by the Norfolk Wildlife Trust's Cley Marshes Visitor Centre.

A dead minke whale washed up on Weybourne beach.

A dead minke whale washed up on Weybourne beach. - Credit: Sonya Duncan

He said: "It was extremely smelly and had obviously been pushed onshore by the northerly winds. It had probably been dead for something like two weeks, it was distended and breaking up. The animal will have died naturally, but there's no way of saying how." 

A North Norfolk District Council spokesman said its rangers are attending to the remains, and the clean up may take several days.

The council said: "We ask that you stay clear of the immediate area until we can confirm the whale has been removed."

Northern minke whales - and their Southern Hemisphere equivalent - undertake seasonal migrations from the poles to the tropics. 

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Mr Chapman said 2021 had a been a "generally quiet" year for discoveries of whale carcasses and other mammals along the north Norfolk coast.