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First grey seal pups of season born at Blakeney Point

PUBLISHED: 16:22 01 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:22 01 November 2019

First Blakeney seal pup of 2019. Picture: National Trust/ Carl Brooker

First Blakeney seal pup of 2019. Picture: National Trust/ Carl Brooker

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The first grey seal pups of the season have been born at Blakeney Point in north Norfolk.

Grey seal pup Blakeney Point Winter 2018. Picture: National Trust Ian WardGrey seal pup Blakeney Point Winter 2018. Picture: National Trust Ian Ward

A ranger at the National Trust site spotted four new arrivals with their mothers on Friday, November 1.

Preparations for the new arrivals have been under way for weeks, with regular checks for pups.

These first few pups herald the start of Norfolk's winter wildlife spectacle that last year saw over 3,000 pups being born, making it the largest grey seal colony in England.

National Trust team and ranger, Carl Brooker, was the first to spot the fluffy white pups.

Grey seal colony Blakeney Point winter 2018. Picture: National Trust/ Ian WardGrey seal colony Blakeney Point winter 2018. Picture: National Trust/ Ian Ward

He said: "We have been left waiting a little longer for the first arrivals this year, so it was great to spot the first pups had finally made an appearance and were looking healthy.

"It's an exciting time for the team and our visitors, but we like to give the pups and their mothers the space they need, so I used my telescope to view the new arrivals and make sure all was well."

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The pups are born with beautiful white fur coats and large black eyes making them a very cute sight indeed.

They are fed on their mother's milk for three weeks before heading into the sea for the first time. Bull seals fight for territory around this time too, with mating taking place soon after pupping.

The seal colony is very sensitive to any kind of disturbance during the pupping season, and the trust has issued tips on the best way to see them.

A spokesman said: "The best way is by boat from Morston Quay. The pupping area is fenced off, giving these wild animals the space they need to give birth and raise their pups.

"Always keep your distance from any seals. Please do not try to take your photo with any seals.

"If you do decide to visit on foot, then leave your dog at home or keep them on a short lead at all times.

"It's worth noting that seal pups are not viewable on foot until early December when the numbers are higher, expanding the colony."

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