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Continued warning to visitors to Newburgh and Forvie to be aware of seals

By David Porter

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Information signs advice the public on where they can view seals safely and legally.
Information signs advice the public on where they can view seals safely and legally.

On Saturday Wildlife Crime Liaison Officer PC Hannah Haywood and SPC Mike Flaherty carried out plain clothes patrols at Newburgh beach and Forvie National Nature Reserve.

A number of seals were seen playing in the Estuary and numerous people were spoken to in regards to the legislation surrounding a seal haul out site and advised that the best and safest place to view the seals is from Newburgh beach.

This was well received and everyone was keen to keep the seals protected and safe but officers are reminding members of the public to act responsibly when near seals at the Ythan estuary.

There are regular and numerous reports of seals being disturbed by people taking photographs, getting too close and also by dogs that are not on a lead.

Wildlife Crime Officer Haywood, said: “People understandably want to watch the seals but this is a protected seal haul-out site and I am urging everyone to be responsible when visiting the area.

“There are information signs asking people to visit without disturbing the animals as it is an offence to intentionally or recklessly harass seals at a haul out site.

"Please follow the instructions on the signs, in particular keeping dogs on leads at all times and keeping your distance.

“The best place to view the seals would be from the south side of the estuary at Newburgh.

"If you do see anyone disturbing the seals deliberately then please report it by contacting us on 101.”

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