Horsey Estate owns and operates the car park at Horsey Gap and sets parking charges. There are pay and display machines on site that accept both cards and cash. The Estate also manages the overflow car park and controls traffic flow during the busiest times.
At the Winterton Beach Car Park, which is also privately owned, payment for parking charges are cash only.
Horsey Estate owns the land and is responsible for all services on the site. FoHS have no role in the providing these services and the same applies to Winterton.
The pupping season starts at the beginning of November and draws to a close at the end of January. The greatest number of births occur mid-November to mid-December, along with greatest number of visitors. It becomes especially busy over the Christmas school holiday period. There is plenty to see, but on-site parking can become busy so allow for queues. Some viewing points are half an hour walk away so allow plenty of time to see the seals and to get back to your car before your parking ticket runs out. If you are not keen on crowds, we suggest you plan your visit outside the school holidays.
For your own safety, the safety of your pets, and the wellbeing of the seals. Females with pups are territorial. Cow seals can be spooked if people get too close and lose sight of their pup and even abandon it. By staying off the beach you are setting a good example to other visitors.
We do this on the advice of Natural England and the Environment Agency. Not only does it keep the seals safe but also protects dunes from excessive erosion from the thousands of visitors who come to Horsey and Winterton each year.
Our team of specially trained rescuers work closely with the vets and staff at the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife centre and will consult with them about the best course of action for very sick seals. Catching an adult seal is often challenging because of their size and strength. If approached while in a group of other seals, the whole group is likely to go into the sea. Our rescuers won’t attempt to rescue a seal if it is among mothers and pups either. We transport very sick seals to the RSPCA facility.
Please report it. Sadly, we are getting an increasing number of this type of report. Entanglement with flying rings, plastic bags, netting and rope can cause deep infected wounds which, if left untreated, can become life-threatening. Young seals are naturally curious and will play with floating rubbish. The problem is that anything caught around their neck will tighten as they grow. Sometimes when there are very minor injuries our rescuers will remove these ligatures and release the seal. Call FoHS Emergency Seal Rescue line on 07706 314514 at the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.
Nothing! It’s sad to see but it’s part of a natural process. We do not remove dead pups and seals from the beach. They will usually disappear quickly, either decomposing, swept away by the tide or they become part of the natural food chain for gulls, crows and other animals.
Please always keep a minimum of 10 metres, (that’s 30 feet or a good bus length) You should never get between a seal and the sea as this is their escape route if they become frightened and they can move quite fast especially going downhill. If you approach a group of seals and they start running away from you, you are too close!
Seals are wild animals so it’s not possible to predict where and when they are likely to appear. About two months after breeding, around February time, adult seals will haul out on the beach in great numbers to moult their old fur and grow a new coat, which is vital to keep them warm and protected. They gather in large, closely packed groups along the tideline. But at other times, the answer to the question is you are likely to see a seal popping its head above the waves to say hello right through the year.