Donna Nook covers more than 10km (6.25 miles) of coastline between Grainthorpe Haven in the north and Saltfleet in the south where it borders the Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe National Nature Reserve. Every November and December, grey seals come to the Donna Nook coastline to give birth to their pups near the sand dunes; a wildlife spectacle which attracts visitors from across the UK.
Visitors should be aware that the Ministry of Defence still maintains part of the area as a bombing target range and under no circumstances should anyone enter the bombing area when red flags are flying. However, most of the dune area is accessible at all times.
Dogs are not permitted on the seal viewing area.
Seals can carry infectious diseases like Leptospirosis and Phocine Distemper Virus (PDV) which are harmful to dogs.
There is easy access to the viewing area from the Stonebridge car park which is signposted as blue badge holders only during busy weekends over seal season (see car park tab for details).
N.B There will be changes at Donna Nook this year. In order to open safely, an online booking system will be introduced to limit the number of people visiting at any one time. There will also be a one-way system and all visitors are asked to respect social distancing. Book here – https://www.lincstrust.org.uk/events?tags=1292
The viewing area is open from late October to December (depending on seal numbers) and is at the foot of the sand dunes which acts to reduce disturbance to the seals and ensures the safety of visitors.
Seals are large predators and are very powerful. They can move surprisingly quickly and, having teeth similar to a dog, can inflict a nasty bite – including the pups.
Mothers with pups can be very protective and male bulls can be aggressive. A mother seal may abandon her pup if it smells of humans or dogs.