A surprising gem of a wildlife oasis, Seal Sands. The mouth of the River Tees with a backdrop of heavy industry, petro-Chemical plants, nuclear power stations all around on the horizon, yet, seals are here in abundance for all to see, and a remarkable sight to see.
With all the industrial buildings around I can imagine people would never dream of thinking about how much wildlife there actually is here. A must stop if you are in the area! You can find the spot to park along the A178 south of Seaton Carew. In fact even from the main road as you drive over, at low tide, you are likely to be greeted by views of seals lazing on the mudflats.
At low tide the seals haul themselves onto the mudflats in the tidal inlet. There are2 types of seals in the area, harbour (common) seals and grey seals. The seals breed here so it really shows that the river is in great condition amongst the industry.
It wasn’t always so. A couple hundred years ago you would have seen over a thousand seals here. Industry came, and during the mid 2oth century there were no seals sighted at all. A lot has improved with cleaning up and environmental knowledge, and in the latter part of the last century the seals returned. It is now common to see 100 of them. Numbers are growing.
There are not many areas in Britain where you can so easily see a wildlife spectacle such as this, right by a main road too! Remarkable. It was fascinating to watch the younger ones playing near the waters edge as the older ones basked in the sunshine.
Seal sands is part of Teesmouth Nature Reserve and many a wildlife lover will know the area. It is not just remarkable for seals but also for birds. The mudflats are perfect for waders, including redshank and dunlin. Short eared owls are in the area along with avocets and so much more. If you are lucky you may even see the peregrine falcons of the area, apparently they use the nuclear reactor to view over the land.
In fact, this was only a short stop for me as was driving through, but it has wet my appetite to come back and see more of the wildlife in the area. See, a gem of a wildlife oasis right here amongst the industry of the North East of England.