straw bales

Donna Nook Seal Colony

Baby Seal at Donna Nook

Seal Colony

A large colony of Grey Seals return to Donna Nook each autumn for the mothers to give birth, to nurture the new pups and then to mate before heading off to sea again. Strangely, after one week's development, the new foetus stays dormant in the mother for about 100 days, after which it continues to develop ready to be born the following autumn.

At Donna Nook the seals come right to the top of the beach and spend as long as three months out of the water - relying on their stored body fat to nourish them until they leave.

Mother Seal looking content

Viewing the Seals

The colony is surprisingly accessible for viewing and the seals are very close to the fenced path. Just a simple camera is adequate to take great pictures.

Parking at Donna Nook is well organised but can be extremely crowded at weekends. The car park is well signposted from North Somercotes and is just eight miles north of Theddlethorpe.

Donna Nook Viewing Area

Seal Viewing area at Donna Nook

Baby Seals

The baby seals are particulary attractive when very young - but don't be fooled - they have caused quite serious injuries to visitors who have been tempted to stroke them. Visitors are not only warned that the babies have well developed teeth but also that the mother seals are known to reject babies that have been touched too much by visitors. The babies rapidly gain weight due to the extremely high fat content in their mother's milk. They also rapidly shed their white baby coats and take on the dark blotchy adult seal appearance.

The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust recorded 1,417 pups born at Donna Nook during the autumn of 2010.

Marsh Samphire at Theddlethorpe

Marsh Samphire

Marsh Samphire on the beach at Theddlethorpe in July

What is it like?

The salty sea-vegetable Samphire (pronounced 'sam-fur') is gaining popularity as a delicate accompaniment to fish dishes. The bright-green succulent stems, which appear to be leafless and are reminiscent of tiny cacti, are available in abundance on the enormous flat sandy beach at Theddlethorpe. The Samphire appears like tiny shrubs, about 15cms tall and at Theddlethorpe they tend to be dispersed over a huge area.


Samphire to Cook

Samphire prepared for cooking

The plants are annuals and propagate by self-seeding. Thus when picking it is acceptable to pull the whole small plant, but leave plenty of plants to mature to maintain the colony. As the plants age they develop a tough inner core; it is the green tender tips that are edible.


The Samphire at Theddlethorpe is able to be harvested from June throughout the summer. It has a similar consistency to Asparagus and is best prepared for eating in much the same way.


Samphire with Sea Bass

Samphire with Sea Bass

Cooking Samphire

The stalks and any tough core material should be removed and then the remaining bright stems be rinsed in fresh water.

Now they can be steamed, lightly stir-fried or boiled for a few minutes before being served with a knob of butter and a sprinkling of black pepper.

Samphire can be added to salad dishes or served as a vegetable in its own right. Due to its salty nature recipes tend to include fish or other sea food. The green tips can also be eaten raw particularly as part of a sandwich filling.

Gayton Engine Pumping Station

Gayton Engine Pumping Station

Pumping Station on Thacker Bank

The Gayton Engine Pumping Station is located at the west edge of Theddlethorpe All Saints, just past the church on the left of Thacker Bank. The station was built in 1850 to pump water from Gayton Fen and Marsh, via a channel to the Great Eau. Although the engine is not new required for drainage duty it has been restored and is preserved by the Gayton Engine Preservation Society.


Diesel Engine

Gayton Engine Pumping Station - Diesel Engine End View

The original steam engines were replaced with a surplus marine diesel engine in 1945. The pump is a 27 Gwynnes pump which was manufactured in Lincoln. The Pumping Station is open to visitors once a month in the summer on a Sunday afternoon.


The Pump House also has an exhibition of drainage tool and historic ceramic pipes.


Gayton Engine Pumping Station - Diesel Engine Side View

Gayton Engine Pumping Station - Pump

Gayton Engine Pumping Station - Outfall

Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary

Seal Sanctuary Resident

The Seal Sanctuary is in the north end of Mablethorpe, just south of the gas terminal at Theddlethorpe and a short cycle ride or car journey from the village.

The Sanctuary takes in orphan or injured seals, most of which are discovered stranded on local beaches. The primary aim is to rehabilitate the animals for return to the wild. In the vast majority of cases this is possible within months but some animals never become well enough to return and these remain as permanent residents.

Seal Sanctuary Pool

The Sanctuary also cares for injured wild animals and birds most of which have been hit by road vehicles. Also the facility has a small collection of non-native animals and some interesting natural history exhibits.

The seals consume large quantities of fish and the costs of running the Sanctuary are high so please include a visit during your time in Theddlethorpe and help support this important work.

Seal Sanctuary Wild Cat


Seal Sanctuary Rabbit

Louth Household Waste Recycling Centre

Lincolnshire Household Waste Recycling Centre at Louth

The Lincolnshire County Council Household Waste Recycling Centre at Louth has been included in these pages primarily because this is the facility available to Theddlethorpe residents for disposal of waste that is not able to be dealt with by the regular East Lindsey collections but also because it is remarkable as an example of a progressive County approach to environmental issues.

The facility includes detailed source separation of material. There is a restriction on the volume of rubble that can be offloaded but all other materials are encouraged and separated into in excess of twenty categories.

Glass Recycling

Glass Recycling Bins

Do check the opening times as they are no longer the same as those shown in the photograph.

Categorised Recycling Bins