Almost 4,000 baby seals have been spotted along a five-mile stretch of coast in Norfolk this winter - a record number, demonstrating conditions are good enough to support a "healthy colony".
The high numbers have been recorded between Waxham and Winterton on the North Sea coast, an area which attracts thousands of visitors each winter as the young seals are weaned before re-entering the sea.
So far this season, a total of 3,796 seal pups have been born - almost double the count from three years ago in 2019-2020, when the total pup count was 2,069. Some 1,169 adult seals have also been spotted.
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Peter Ansell, chairman of Friends of Horsey Seals, which works to protect the animals from disturbance, said: "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.
"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."
Almost half of the world's population of grey seals lives around the British coast, and Norfolk is an important breeding area. The flat beaches, shallow waters and high dunes around Horsey and Winterton offer an ideal location for the females to give birth.
Visitors to the colony's breeding ground are asked to keep at a distance from the seals and keep any dogs on a lead while the pups are ashore in the winter months.
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