After the grey seal breeding season ends in January, another important event occurs – the annual moult. Over the next three months, many hundreds of adult seals will come ashore to get rid of their old worn-out coats and grow new ones and this is important because their coats make them waterproof and keep them warm. The moulting process takes up to six weeks to complete and they gather in large groups for protection and warmth.
The sight attracts thousands of visitors who are allowed to walk down the beach, unlike during the breeding season. It is still important to view the seals without causing them harm. They need to just lie around, undisturbed, enjoying a good scratch from time to time so please stay well away from the seals (at least 10 metres) and don’t frighten them. Many seals don’t eat at all during this period and they just live off their fat but because they shed their protective undercoat while moulting, it’s vital they avoid going into the sea during the process. If disturbed, whole groups can be spooked and all stampede into the sea together. Please, as always, keep all dogs on leads as they are just as able to frighten the seals.
Come and enjoy this amazing sight but remember that giving them their space will help to ensure the long-term survival of these beautiful endangered animals.Go back