Watching `wonderful` coastal wildlife

From the frenetic seabird breeding colonies to the blaze of colourful wildflowers in summer to the spectacular flocks of waders and wildfowl and curious faces of grey seals in winter, there is plenty to see along the Northumberland coast at any time of the year.


puffin (c) Iain RobsonThe Farne Islands, managed by the National Trust, are rightly famous for the breeding seabirds.  You get up close to tens of thousands of seabird including puffins, terns and guillemots when you visit the Farnes (but be sure to wear a hat). The Islands are open from April through until September but the best time to visit for birds is June, but boat trips go out until October, weather permitting, to see the seals.  Boat trips go from Seahouses Harbour.



There are also opportunities for Boat trips from Amble Harbour to the RSPB reserve of Coquet Island and to explore the southern section of the AONB with an 'offshore perspective'.

cowslips (c) Andrew HaywardIf plants are your thing, then the Northumberland coast is the place to be in the spring and summer. Much of the dune land and shore is protected for wildflowers, and there is no finer sight to be had than the pink perfusion of thrift covered Saltmarsh of Lindisfarne in early summer.  Dune land that is designated for the rich assemblage of flowering plants can be easily explored.  Look out for the rare Lindisfarne Heliborine, unique to Holy Island.  Whin grassland, with specialist plants found nowhere else than Northern England, is here in abundance. 

A little known fact is the Northumberland coast can be good for seeing cetaceans, (whales, dolphins and porpoises) in late summer.  Sometimes they can be seen on boat trips but many people will find a headland and sit and watch from there.

Also in the summer the rock pools, that dot the coast, come alive like a natural aquarium rich with sea creatures and plants. The shore is part of the `European Marine Site` Network identified as `special maritime places`

To help explore, the Northumberland Coast AONB Partnership have produced a range of guide books.  These include birdwatching, plantlife, seashore, underwater and geology and landscape.

Click here for further information


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Approaching Holy Island Breathtaking views on foot St Aidans in Bamburgh One of our many cycle routes Volunteer working hard Beadnell Bay


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