Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Messing about in a boat

Those seals will be getting a lot of attention as a result of these promises!

The whole of the coastline here forms part of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) - and with justification, for there are few stretches of coast in England that remain so unspoiled and undeveloped. It is a place to refresh both body and soul. And one of the best ways of experiencing it close to is by getting in a boat and going out on the creeks, navigating through the salt marshes to the sea.

Blakeney National Nature Reserve extends to 1097ha (2711 acres) almost all of which is within the ownership of the National Trust. It includes Blakeney Point, Blakeney Freshes, Morston and Stiffkey Marshes and supports a wide range of coastal plant communities with many nationally important species. Blakeney Point itself is a 3½ml long sand and shingle spit, noted for its colonies of breeding terns and migrant birds passing through. And, of course, famously both common and grey seals live and breed on the end of the spit. The seals are very comfortable with boats which means you can observe them basking on the colony or in the water at very close quarters without disturbing them at all.

The promise is a sail in the Blakeney area in a safe 15ft dingy with a very experienced local sailor who has a wealth of knowledge about the area. Depending on the tides, the journey will last for 2-3 hours and the route and date can be arranged by mutual agreement with the very kind donor.

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