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17 September 2014
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Urban - Seal Sands walk


Industrial Teesside isn't a location you'd automatically associate with nature watching but a trip to Seal Sands is a real treat for wildlife lovers.

Why not go on an urban walk with a difference?

Seals at Teesside's aptly named wildlife haven, Seal Sands.

Seal Sands wild walks

Total length - 4.4 km (can be split into two walks - North Gare and Seal Sands). Plus short car drive between the two main sites.

Those arriving by public transport are advised to pick either the North Gare or Seal Sands walk.

Approx time: 2.5 hours.

Walk difficulty: Easy with some easy-moderate sections at North Gare. Mostly flat.

Highlights: This walk provides great views of waders, water birds, seals and birds of prey.

Seal Sands

SealPoint 1 - Start your walk at the Greatham Creek car park and turn left along the footway by the A178, taking care to watch out for fast moving traffic as you cross the road.

As you reach the small bridge over the road, look down to your left to check for seals basking on the mud flats at high tide.

Point 2 - Turn right along the signposted path along Greatham Creek looking out for wading birds on the mud flats to your left and the water areas to your right.

As high tide comes in, you might be lucky to see seals swimming and bobbing up and down in the water to your left as they move from the mudflats on Seal Sands towards the exposed mud at the bottom of the creek.

Point 3 - Continue along the path past two kissing gates, looking at the industrial landscape around you and scanning for raptors and other birds.

Point 4 - Go inside the hide and watch for sea birds and seals. You're most likely to see the seals on Seal Sands at low tide when the mud banks are exposed.

Point 5 - Leave the hide and turn right along a footpath towards another hide overlooking the tidal lagoon. Once again scan the area for wading birds.

Point 6 - Return along the same path along Greatham Creek to the car park.

North Gare

CormorantPoint 7 - Take a left turn out of the car park and drive along the A178 north to North Gare. Look for the grass mounds near the car park which are evidence of the former salt industry.

From the car park walk pass through the kissing gate and walk along the surfaced track to the break water.

Point 8 - Turn right along one of two tracks to the beach. Walk along the beach for about 1km checking for sea birds including Cormorants. Also look at the Marram Grass colonising the dunes.

You'll be able to see Hartlepool Power Station in the near distance ahead of you.

Point 9 - Turn right again, and then take another right along a surfaced path and through the golf course to the car park where you started.

Photo credits

Teesside industry images courtesy and copyright of Natural England and Peter Wakeley.



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