Saturday, 7 December 2013

Storm's aftermath on Norfolk's coastline

The ranger team here is today once again assessing the impact of the tidal surge and storms that hit much of the east coast of the UK on December 5. We've been working during daylight hours to gather a full picture of the damage caused, from Brancaster to Salthouse.

The National Trust cares for large areas of the North Norfolk coast, including Blakeney Point and its Lifeboat House. On Friday, the team were unable to reach Blakeney Point, due to the extensive damage to footpaths, bridges and shingle.

Today, Saturday December 7, the team have been able to access Blakeney Point and have found damage to the Lifeboat House and surrounding buildings.

As those who follow our blog know, during the winter months, the sand dunes are home to a large colony of breeding seals. We are aware that many of you have expressed concern for the seals at Blakeney and our team, who spend many hours each year monitoring them, share that concern.

At this time it is not possible to know the number of seals and pups that may have been affected by the tidal surge. Many of the pups and their mothers have moved inland and are scattered amongst the sand dunes. It is absolutely vital that we leave them alone at this time so they can continue to feed and bond in safety and uninterrupted.

Some pups will have been displaced from Blakeney Point, although there is a strong chance that many of them will return to shore elsewhere on the coast. Again, it is absolutely vital the pups are left alone in order for their mothers to find them.

We strongly urge that if visitors to the Norfolk Coast come across any seals or pups in the aftermath of the tidal surge, please, do not attempt to move them or encourage them to return to the sea. The pups are safer on land until they shed their distinctive white fur.

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