The first grey seal pups of the season have been born at Horsey Beach in Norfolk, with volunteer wardens in place to help keep them safe.
Peter Ansell, chairman of Friends of Horsey Seals, said the pupping season begins gradually but by mid-November they “start popping out all over the place” with hundreds of pups on the sand.
The season runs until late January, and to help keep seals safe wardens have roped off designated viewing areas.
Friends of Horsey Seals usually conducts a seal count, but could not complete it last season due to Covid-19 restrictions, Mr Ansell said.
“When we stopped the count we were at well over 1,500,” he said.
“We were unable to go down there and complete the count but going on past history you could safely say there would be about 2,500 born by the end of the season last year, no problem at all.
“It seems to go year on year the total increases by about 10%.”
He said the majority of the marine mammals on the beach are currently adults, with at least two healthy pups born this week.
“It doesn’t really get into its full swing until the second or third week of November, and from then, for the next fortnight it really, really goes to town,” said Mr Ansell.
“They start popping out all over the place and we end up with hundreds on the beach.
He said volunteer wardens are on duty, with signs and viewing areas marking out a safe distance from the colony.
Mr Ansell said that if people keep to the viewing areas “we can look forward to another happy and successful season”.