Donna Nook

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Donna Nook
Near North Somercotes, Lincolnshire in England
Seals at Donna Nook fenceline in 2007
Donna Nook is located in Lincolnshire
Donna Nook
Donna Nook
Shown within Lincolnshire
Coordinates53°28′29″N 000°09′07″E / 53.47472°N 0.15194°E / 53.47472; 0.15194Coordinates: 53°28′29″N 000°09′07″E / 53.47472°N 0.15194°E / 53.47472; 0.15194
Site information
OwnerMinistry of Defence
Open to
the public
Yes, in part
WebsiteLincolnshire Wildlife Trust
Donna Nook National Nature Reserve

Donna Nook is a point on the low-lying coast of north-Lincolnshire, England, north of the village of North Somercotes and south of Grimsby. The area, a salt marsh, is used by a number of Royal Air Force stations in Lincolnshire for bombing practice and shares its name with RAF Donna Nook. The site was also made available to commercial organisations such as BMARC for firing tests.

Wildlife seem to have become accustomed to regular aircraft bombing according to The Wildlife Trust. The name is popularly supposed to be derived from a ship called The Donna, part of the Spanish Armada, which sank off the Nook (a small headland) in 1588.[1]

A 6 miles (10 km) coastal strip stretching from Saltfleet in the south, to Somercotes Haven in the north, is managed by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust as a nature reserve.[2] It is part of the land owned by the Ministry of Defence and used as a bombing range.[1] The grey seal population return to breed from October to December every year. From 2007, when about 1,194 pups were born to 3,500 resident grey seal colony, births rates have grown to 2,066 pups born over the 2018 season.[3] A double wooden fence was erected in 2007 to stop people touching the newborn pups.

The reserve, staffed by volunteer wardens, is accessible to the public. Media coverage of Donna Nook has led to a big increase in visitor numbers; it was visited by about 43,000 people in 2006. Surplus money collected through sales is used to further support the protection of seals.

The Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust has asked walkers and photographers to stay in the public viewing area and to avoid going out onto the sands, following an increase in seal mortality which coincided with an increase in visitor numbers in 2010 [4] and criticism of the disturbance caused by photographers.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b "Donna Nook". Natural England. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  2. ^ "Donna Nook". Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Weekly seal update | Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust". Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Walkers urged not to disturb Donna Nook seals". BBC News. BBC. 5 October 2010. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Seal mortality at Donna Nook. NB | Niall Benvie. Clay Bolt. Paul Harcourt Davies. Andrew Parkinson". 25 October 2012. Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  6. ^ "Donna Nook, or why I'm not going again". 4 December 2011. Retrieved 5 July 2012.[permanent dead link]


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