Tag Archives: Countryside

Grey seal pup at Donna Nook

Visit the Grey Seals at Donna Nook

 Grey Seals at Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve near Louth in Lincolnshire is an amazing place to visit to see Grey Seals and their pups.  The grey seals come on to the beach during November and December to give birth to pups and to mate.  Because so many people go to see the seals, the adults and their pups are used to humans so come very close to the viewing area and some pups even lie against the fence.

Grey seals at Donna Nook

No dogs are allowed on the Nature Reserve.  Also, keep an eye on children and make sure they don’t try to stroke the seals as they have sharp teeth and give a nasty bite.

Last year we went to see the grey seals at the beginning of December, if you go at the weekend I would advise aiming to get there by 10 am. We were able to have a good view as we walked from one car park towards the other but on the return walk back it was getting much busier.

There are lots of information boards telling you about the grey seals and boards with multiple choice questions that you guess and then lift the flap to find the answer.

Young Grey seal pup at Donna Nook

Spaced out along the viewing area there are volunteer wardens, who are very knowledgeable and helpful if you want to ask questions about the seals. There is also a little gift shop where you can buy grey seal keyrings and pictures.

This year (2017) the first grey seal pup was born on 13th October.  When the grey seal pups are born they have a white fluffy coat to keep them warm. The pups feed on their mother’s milk for 18-21 days, gaining about 2kg of weight per day.  The grey seal pups start to lose their fluffy white coat around 3 to 4 weeks when they are weaned.

Grey Seal Pup 2016

For weekly updates of the number of adult seals and pups follow the Donna Nook Warden Facebook page.

Facilities

There are 2 car parks.  1 which is concrete and run by the local authority but will be full unless you get there early. The second one is a grass field and you pay at the gate, there are also portaloos at this car park.  There is also a catering van serving hot drinks, burgers, bacon baps and cakes at the local authority car park.  Be careful and considerate to other drivers, after you turn off the main road, as the roads are narrow and only suitable for one car at a time in places.

To find out more about grey seals and visiting Donna Nook take a look at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s website the postcode to use to get to Donna Nook National Nature Reserve is LN11 7PD although this doesn’t take you directly to the Nature Reserve, so follow the signs.

Make sure to wrap up warm as the east coast can be rather bracing in the winter. Check out my Facebook page for more things to do in Lincolnshire

Snipe Dales

Snipe Dales Country Park and Nature Reserve

Snipe Dales Country Park and Nature Reserve

Snipe Dales Country Park and Nature Reserve is situated just off the B1195 between Horncastle and Spilsby, at the edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds.  It is one of my favourite places to go for a walk and is popular with families.  There are two car parks, a small one at the Nature Reserve, which is free and a second larger car park at the Country Park, which is pay and display.

Stream Snipe Dales

Stream Snipe Dales

There are two parts to Snipe Dales, the Country Park, which is mostly on higher ground and the Nature Reserve, which is mostly in the valley.  The low part of the Country Park and most of the Nature Reserve can be wet, boggy and muddy during the winter and spring.  If you park at the Nature Reserve end there is a very steep slope down into the Nature Reserve.

Snipe Dales

Snipe Dales

Habitats

Snipe Dales has a variety of habitats including wet valleys with streams and flushes, rough grazing, scrub and woodland.  These habitats support a diverse range of birds and insects including butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.

Snipe Dales Geology Information Board

Snipe Dales Geology Information Board

To find out more about the habitats and species check out the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust’s website.  There is also a useful map, showing the different walks.  Snipe Dales Round is 3.5 miles long and you need to follow the red square waymarkers, it goes round both the Country Park and the Nature Reserve.  The Country Park Trail is 1.25 miles, it goes round the Country Park only and you need to follow the green tree waymarkers.

Snipe Dales Map showing walks

Snipe Dales Map showing walks

There are information boards throughout the nature reserve, which add interest to the walk, either with details about the habitat or species.  The Greenwich Meridian runs through the Country Park and there is a Meridian Stone marking where.

Meridian Stone Snipe Dales Country Park

Meridian Stone Snipe Dales

At the car park at the Country Park there are public toilets and picnic benches.  Although there isn’t anywhere to buy refreshments, so bring your own drink and snack.

If you prefer a longer walk then there are footpaths that run out of the Country Park towards Hagworthingham.