Dorset Wildlife Trust’s kayakers were surprised when a grey seal popped its head up in Kimmeridge Bay. The animal seemed totally unfazed as it stared back at onlookers on the shore before slowly sinking underwater. The seal was just 20m from the beach in the Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and hung around for around an hour before disappearing.
The kayakers, using DWT’s clear-bottomed kayaks to view marine life beneath the water were thrilled at the close encounter. According to DWT’s marine awareness officer, Julie Hatcher, there are usually 2 or 3 sightings of seals in the bay each year, including one unexpected encounter on the Snorkel Trail. Julie said: “This was excellent timing to coincide with our Kayak Safari and just shows what special marine life we have here in Dorset. Most people are unaware of the variety of wildlife we have in our local seas.”
There are still some places left on DWT’s kayak safaris which are taking place each Tuesday and Thursday until the end of August. Safaris cost £25 per person for a 2-hour session, including a presentation by a DWT marine specialist and 1 hour on the water. Minimum age 12 years and under 18s must be accompanied by a parent. Suitable for beginners. Wetsuits and safety equipment provided. To book a place phone 01929 481044.
Grey seals are the largest of our British seals and, although there are no breeding colonies in Dorset, individuals regularly appear, possibly juveniles exploring the coast from their strongholds in Cornwall. DWT has produced a Kayaking with Wildlife leaflet to help people get the best marine life encounters without disturbing animals. For more information or to download the leaflet, click here.
Notes to Editor
For more information please contact Dorset Wildlife Trust on 01929 481044.
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About Dorset Wildlife Trust www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk
Working for a secure future for Dorset’s wildlife enriching the quality of life
Dorset Wildlife Trust is part of the Natural Weymouth and Portland Partnership; connecting people with nature
Dorset Wildlife Trust works to champion wildlife and natural places, to engage and inspire people and to promote sustainable living. Founded in 1961, DWT is now the largest voluntary nature conservation organisation in Dorset, with over 25,000 members and over 40 nature reserves. Most are open daily and there are visitor centres providing a wealth of wildlife information at Brooklands Farm, Lorton Meadows, Kingcombe Meadows and Brownsea Island Nature Reserves, The Purbeck Marine Wildlife Reserve and the Urban Wildlife Centre at Upton Heath Nature Reserve. DWT plays a key role in dealing with local environmental issues and leads the way in establishing the practices of sustainable development and engaging new audiences in conservation, particularly in the urban areas.