Rolling around in the sand, a mother seal joins her young pup frolicking on the beach at a remote wildlife reserve in Lincolnshire.
More than 1,250 pups have been delivered amongst the dunes on the remote wildlife reserve of Donna Nook - an RAF bombing range in Lincolnshire.
The 3,000 strong colony, the biggest in England, has seen its population double after the largest number of pups were born at the reserve which boasted just 220 seals in 1966.
A young seal plays with its mum on the beach at RAF Donna Nook. It has been a record year for seal pups at the site
The male and female seals, bulls and cows, spend most of their year at sea or on far-out sandbanks. They feed on fish such as cod and salmon and can dive up to seventy metres deep.
But between September and December they 'haul out' at the reserve - a 10mile stretch of pristine sand beach and dunes - to breed.
Each pup weighs about 15kgs at birth but bulk up to 40 kilos in three weeks due to a diet of three litres of mothers' milk a day.
Grey seals haul themselves onto the beach between September and December to breed
Rob Lidstone-Scott, of the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, counted 1,258 pups today, 330 bulls and 990 cows. The first pup of the year was born on October 23.
With more than 90 per cent of the pupping already complete staff expect to see a record 1,330 young this year.
Mr Lidstone-Scott said: 'The main reason for the increase in numbers of Donna Nook is the safety of the site.
Young seals head out to sea. They double their body weight in just three weeks after birth
'The seals have a massive area on which to breed so fewer pups get squashed by bulls and the young pups can stay further from the sea. On the Atlantic coast many fall prey to crashing waves.'
The seals are not concerned by planes and staff at RAF Donna Nook make every effort to make sure that no harm comes to any animal because of military activity.
Puppy love: Playful baby seals have their first taste of beach life in England's biggest colony | Mail Online