On Saturday 12th November, the Wild Horizons members met at the Volunteer Training Centre ready to depart for Donna Nook National Nature Reserve in Lincolnshire. We were all feeling less than optimistic about the weather forecast for the day ahead- heavy rain with North Sea winds didn’t bode for a comfortable day outside! Fortunately, us hardy folk came fully prepared for the worst, with coats, hats, gloves, scarves and waterproofs. The rain wasn’t going to put us off!
We arrived at the reserve after a 2 hour car journey, and donned our outdoor gear. The rain actually wasn’t too bad, and upon seeing the grey seals and their pups at close quarters our spirits were lifted. We met Lizzie Lemon, a friend of the reserve who has previously worked with the Rutland Osprey Project, and now works as the Outer Humber and Coastal Assistant Warden for the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. Much of her time is spent with the seals at Donna Nook over the winter months when they give birth to their pups. She gave us a lot of information regarding the seals and their breeding habits, and led us along the coastal path which ran past new-born pups and their mothers, as well as some pretty impressive bulls. It was great to see so many seals and observe the interactions between members of the colony scattered across the beach. Lizzie answered any questions which we had, and gave us an idea of the type of work she carries out at Donna Nook.
We then headed back to the car park for a hot drink, before Lizzie led us to the Natural England office where she is based for some lunch and tea. After lunch, we walked to the Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes, where we looked out over the drizzly Lincolnshire coast and the sand dunes, where Natterjacks can be found. Lizzie showed us where new pools had been made to accommodate the Natterjacks, as well as the sheltered areas made for the toddlers to hide. We saw many common frogs, but unfortunately no Natterjacks. As we walked back to the car, I’m sure we were all looking forward to a hot shower at home after a fantastic day on the Lincolnshire coast.
On behalf of the Wild Horizons members who came along on Saturday, I would like to say a huge thank you to Lizzie Lemon for arranging to meet us and tell us about the seals, as well as providing somewhere warm and dry for lunch and a cuppa! I think that it is more than fair to say that the first Wild Horizons ‘road trip’ was a success!
by Amy Hall
For more information about Wild Horizons’, get in touch with Becky Corby via firstname.lastname@example.org
or call the Volunteer Training Centre on 01572 720024