Tag Archives: Lincolnshire

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

Spa Trail – Horncastle to Woodhall Spa – Part 1

The Spa Trail – Thornton Lodge near Horncastle to Martin Bridge

The Spa Trail is 3 miles long and leads from Horncastle to Sandy Lane near Woodhall Spa.  It follows a section of the disused Horncastle to Woodhall Spa Railway, it is also part of the much longer Viking Way.  The trail consists of a hard core surface throughout, which makes it ideal for pushchairs, wheelchairs as well as walking in all weathers, as there are no muddy sections or sections that take you through fields.

Spa-Trial-Map

Spa Trail Map

I parked my car at the small car park near Thornton Lodge (you are here on the image above) and walked along the trail till I reached Martin Bridge and then walked back.  In another post I will do the other part of the trail from Martin Bridge to Sandy Lane.

View_from_Car_Park_Start_Spa_Trail

View from the Car Park at Thornton Lodge

Along the trail there are several sculptures made from stone, wood and metal, as well as information boards, which make the trail an interesting walk for children and adults.

The Spa trail initially runs alongside the Horncastle canal and then goes through farmland.

 

Horncastle_Canel_Information_Board

The various sculptures and information boards along the trail add interest.  When I walked along the trail in early spring there were lambs and sheep in an adjacent field.  Parts of the trail go through trees so keep an eye out for different birds.

Sculpture-information-board

 

Here are some of pictures of the sculptures

Metal-Heron-Sculpture

Metal Heron Sculpture on the Spa Trail

 

Wooden-Fern-Seat

Wooden Fern seat

 

Metal-Viking-Ship

Metal Viking Ship Sculpture near Martin Bridge

 

Wooden-Diving-Otter

Wooden Diving Otter Sculpture

 

Martin-Bridge-Old-Railway-Line

Martin Bridge looking towards Horncastle

 

Spa-Trail-Horncastle-Woodhall-Spa

Spa Trail – Horncastle to Woodhall Spa

 

Beware-Snakes-Sign

Not the usual sign you expect to see

I did this walk in the Spring of 2015, if you would like to see more pictures from the walk head over to my Facebook Page Lincs Out and About