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First pups of the season born at biggest seal colony
“Over the coming months, Blakeney Point will be carpeted in grey seals” – Duncan Halpin.
Around 4,500 are expected to be born this winter.

The first grey seal pups of this winter’s pupping season have been born at Blakeney National Nature Reserve in Norfolk.

The National Trust reserve is home to the largest colony in England, following a large increase in numbers in the last 20 years. In 1999, just five pups were born at the site. Now, around 4,500 pups are born there every year.

The number of seals has become too large to simply count on the ground., so aerial photographs will be used to help estimate the size of the colony. Support in counting the colony will be provided by marine biologists at the Sea Mammal Research Unit at the University of St Andrews.

During pupping season, which lasts until mid-January, the seals will be monitored by National Trust rangers and volunteers, who will maintain a regular presence on the shingle spit to prevent disturbances. They will also use a continuous live feed from a remote camera to monitor the seals and their pups.

Visitors with dogs will not be permitted to walk the full length of Blakeney Point until pupping season is over.

Duncan Halpin, National Trust’s ranger, said: “The grey seal colony is in the early stages of becoming established for this year and we are looking forward to following the progress of the colony, and its new pups, this winter.

“Over the coming months, Blakeney Point will be carpeted in grey seals, as something in the region of 4,500 cow seals come ashore to have their pups.

“It’s a breathtaking sight and is testimony to the potential of our marine life to thrive when the right conditions, and protection from disturbance, are in place.”

Image © Shutterstock

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Bristol uni celebrates 75 years of teaching vets

News Story 1
 The University of Bristol's veterinary school is celebrating 75 years of educating veterinary students.

Since the first group of students were admitted in October 1949, the school has seen more than 5,000 veterinary students graduate.

Professor Jeremy Tavare, pro vice-chancellor and executive dean for the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: "I'm delighted to be celebrating Bristol Veterinary School's 75 years.

"Its excellence in teaching and research has resulted in greater understanding and some real-world changes benefiting the health and welfare of both animals and humans, which is testament to the school's remarkable staff, students and graduates." 

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News Shorts
RCVS HQ to temporarily relocate

The headquarters of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is to move temporarily, ahead of its permanent relocation later in the year.

From Monday, 26 February 2024, RCVS' temporary headquarters will be at 2 Waterhouse Square, Holborn, London. This is within walking distance of its current rented offices at The Cursitor, Chancery Lane.

RCVS have been based at The Cursitor since February 2022, following the sale of its Westminster premises the previous March.

However, unforeseen circumstances relating to workspace rental company WeWork filing for bankruptcy means The Cursitor will no longer operate as a WeWork space. The new temporary location is still owned by WeWork.

RCVS anticipates that it will move into its permanent location at Hardwick Street, Clerkenwell, later on in the year.