White, fluffy and extremely vocal, newborn seal pups are the highlight of a new National Trust tour of the Farne Islands.
Not yet ready to swim, the young Atlantic grey seals are shedding their white coats and are learning to survive in harsh conditions off the North East coast.
They are part of the biggest breeding colony of Atlantic seals in England, with over 4,000 seals living on and around the 28 islands.
It is the first time the public have been allowed to visit the colony, with tours taking place during the height of breeding season.
Born from September to late November, there are around 1,500 new additions every year.
Visitors will be able to catch a boat to Staple Island, one of largest, where they will be taken to see the pups.
Head Ranger David Steel said: "The seal pupping season is by far one of the most amazing spectacles in the wildlife calendar on the Farne Islands.
"Most seal colonies are in remote places that aren't readily accessible. We're really pleased to be able to offer this amazing experience."
Though they count the number of seals born, they also monitor the mortality rate, which can be as high as 60 percent.
Walking past a dead Puffin, one National Trust ranger said: "You have to get used to death, you see a lot of it working here.
"But there are more success stories than there are sad ones, and it's good to see a seal pup doing well."
The rangers say they are committed to making sure the seal colony tours disrupt the young pups and their parents as little as possible.
Two visitor boats will be running to the Farne Islands from North Sunderland Harbour from 13 to 31 October, at midday and 1pm.
Further details of the tours are available by clicking here.
For the latest Farne Island information you can follow head ranger David Steel's blog.
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