With Autumn here, the team at AWR Donna Nook is preparing for seal breeding season. Last year some 2,066 grey seal pups were born on the beach here and now they will start to return from the North Sea to give birth to this year’s babies. Daley Marsh, Team Leader, is looking forward to welcoming both the new seal pups and also the general public, who come to marvel at this wildlife spectacle. Daley has been with Landmarc since 2013, starting as a Training Area Operative (TAO) before working his way up to Team Leader two years ago.

Working at Landmarc was meant to be

“I’ve always lived in North Somercotes and regularly walked my dogs on the beach but never knew anything about the range or even if anyone worked here. Then, after being made redundant from my job at the local butchers/bakery, where I had worked for 10 years, I saw a job advert for AWR Donna Nook and fancied a bit of a change. I think I was only out of a job for a week so maybe it was meant to be!

“I enjoy working outside and the fact that I meet different people each day. I like working for Landmarc because I’m part of a large successful team, where there is always help or advice from others around the site or even the region. Landmarc is a good company to work for with good opportunities to progress and to build on our skills through the many training courses available.

Moving seals is a part  of the job

“My job as Team Leader is very different every day and depends on what time of the year it is. This time of year is very busy as our grey seal population returns to the beach for breeding season. This brings with it a lot of extra work and vigilance by the team, who not only have to deal with inquisitive members of the public but  also ensure the seals are protected and come to no harm during training activities. We try and keep everything as normal as possible during the breeding season, the seals aren’t bothered by planes flying around or practice bombs dropping on the beach or the sound of strafing, so it’s generally business as usual.

“The team at AWR Donna Nook works very closely with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust (LWT) and we keep each other informed on a daily basis. With constant trips out to the target areas, the team occasionally has to move the seals but luckily it’s the young juveniles who just follow the crowd and not the bull males! 

Keeping the public and the wildlife from harm

“Due to our coastal location we encounter many different challenges from the weather. It can be very hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter. We also have to deal with the high tides, which can sometimes mean we aren’t able to get on the range to deal with the targets, which obviously affects the jobs that we can do.

“We also have to keep the general public informed, which can vary from answering questions about the seals, to entering the range and to testing our knowledge of aircrafts. The seals certainly attract a lot of attention with in excess of 70,000 visitors each season and once, as many as 6,719 visitors on one of the busiest days.

“The most rewarding aspect of my job is keeping the public safe from harm, being part of the support team for the RAF and also protecting the wildlife, whether that’s from ordnance or even from the waste we pick up that has been washed up from the sea.”