Record number of seal pups counted on Norfolk beaches

Nearly 4,000 baby seals have been spotted on a five-mile stretch of coast in Norfolk, making a record for the region.

The seal population between Waxham and Winterton attracts thousands of visitors each winter as the young seals are weaned before re-entering the sea.

So far this winter, a total of 3,796 seal pups have been born while 1,169 adults have been spotted.

The number is almost double the count in 2019/2020 when the total pup count was 2,069.

Peter Ansell, chairman of Friends of Horsey Seals, told the PA news agency: “It is a sign of a healthy colony.

“It’s down to the fish, at the moment the North Sea is providing enough fish for thousands of seals and this is a nice place for them to come ashore and do their breeding.

Grey seal pups
Grey seals on the beach at Horsey (Joe Giddens/PA)

“They are very popular with visitors, which is funny because they don’t really do anything, they come ashore and flop down and every few hours the pup nudges the mum for a feed.”

About 50% of the world population of grey seals lives around the British coast, with Norfolk being an important breeding area.

Visitors are asked to keep at a distance and keep their dogs on a lead while the pups are ashore in the winter months until about February.