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Seal Sands

Middlesbrough, Yorskhire

Location Guide

During the medieal period this area was important for the salt industry, extracting sale from the sea water. In more recent modern history Teesside is associated with industry and probably not the first place you would think of for wildlife watching. However today you can see the grassy mounds of ash from the fires used to evaporate the sea water and crystallise the salt near the Noth Gare car park as well as being a wildlife haven for wading birds and seals.

Seal Sands is the southern part of the Teesmouth National Nature Reserve, and is located between Hartlepool and Middlesbrough and although the nuclear power station and chemical works will be on the horizon it is a place where you can get up close to the animals and birds. In fact it is the only area of inter-tidal mud flat between Lindisfarne and the Humber and there is very little human disturbance and as a result during the autumn and winter months it can get up to 30,000 ducks and waders.

The northern side at North Gare is a large expanse of sand-dune and mudflat and the hide provides a good view of Shelduck, Knot and Redshank. The hide on the southern side at Greatham Creek gives a good view of birds, but also seals.

Bird watching - two hides in the Greatham Creek area.

Autumn/winter typical sightings include - Knot, Shelduck, Teal, Redshank, Curlew, Cormorant. Spring - Ringed Plover, Lapwing, Oystercatcher. Whilst in the summer months you will see Sandwich Terns.

Seal Watching. Sightings are pretty much guaranteed  and around 100 seals can be seen. Visiting at low tide you will see the seals lounging about on the sandbank in the middle of the lagoon. However a visit when the tide is in will bring them up Greatham Creek and out onto the mudbanks and a walk along the footpath will give you the closest view.

Good places to watch are:

  • the nature reserve footpath along Greatham Creek (high tide);

  • Greatham Creek hide - exposed mudflats (low tide);

  • North Gare reserve;

  • a viewpoint close to the main A178 road at Greatham Creek (high tide).

Essential Kit - walking shoes and binoculars/scopes. Tide times. Bird identification book.

Seal Sands also have a wild walk which lasts about 2.5 hours. See this link for details.

Location: Seal Sands, Middlesbrough, Teesside

Grid Reference: NZ507252 Ceremonial County: Yorkshire

Map Link: Multimap

Aerial photo: Google Aerial Photo

Getting there: Seal Sands/Teesmouth National Nature Reserve lies halfway between Hartlepool and Redcar, 5 km north east of Middlesbrough. Take the A178 from Teesside. Car parks at North Gare and Cowpen Marsh.

Access: Easy Access path from the car park at Greatham Creek along to the disabled access hide.
Website: English Nature
Other Useful Websites: BBC
Email: northumbria@english-nature.org.uk
Address: Seal Sands, Teesmouth Nature Reserve, Middlesbrough, Teesside
Postcode: TS2 1 Telephone: 01429 853325
Opening Times: All year round

Charges: FREE

Nearby Locations:
Other Location Pages:

Notes: Nearest toilets and refreshments at Seaton Carew.







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By: Tracey Park Section: Wildlife Key:
Page Ref: seal_sands Topic: Seals  Last Updated: 03/2010

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