An update about The Farne Islands
Landing access to the Farne Islands to be restricted in efforts to protect precious seabird colonies
The National Trust has announced that visitors won’t be able to land on the Farne Islands, off the coast of Northumberland, at the start of the 2023 season due to fears that Avian Influenza (bird flu) will rip through the seabird colonies once more.
Scattered a couple of miles off the coast of Seahouses, this cluster of islands was declared by Sir David Attenborough as his favourite place to see nature in the UK. Over 100,000 seabirds, of 23 different species can be spotted here, including colourful puffins who reunite with the same mate each year.
Sadly, last year the islands were devastated by Bird Flu, and so to protect our precious seabird’s visitor access will be restricted to the islands, with no landings on Inner Farne or Staple Island. To find out more visit The Farne Islands and bird flu | National Trust.
Visitors can still experience the magnificent wildlife by taking a sail around tour and spotting the birds, seals dolphins from the water. Landing trips are still running to Longstone for visits to the lighthouse.
Head to Seahouses between March – October and book a Farne Islands sail around tour at one of the wooden kiosks that line the harbour. Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours, Billy Shiel Boat Trips or the Golden Gate Farne Island Tours all sail daily in the summer months and at weekends and school holidays throughout the year, weather permitting.
Look out for the island’s colony of grey or Atlantic seals lazing on the rocks or bobbing inquisitively in the sea. The islands have the largest breeding colony in England and fluffy, white seal pups can be seen on the islands from late October, with around 2000 being born here every Autumn.
If seeing the seabird spectacle is your goal, plan your visit between mid April and late July to see the largest number of razorbills, guillemots, eider duck and, of course, puffins.