Meet British wildlife on a coastal safari

Meet British wildlife on a coastal safari

Did you know that the UK could end its contribution to global climate change in less than 30 years? To meet this ambitious target, we’d all need to pitch in to reduce the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

While politicians wrangle over the bigger picture, many of us have already started our own reduction programmes at home: by buying goods that are built to last, recycling and reusing wherever possible, eating less meat and dairy, switching to a green energy provider and leaving the car at home when we can. Yet, much of our careful carbon savings can be undone in a few clicks, simply by booking those holiday flights.

The facts on flying and your carbon footprint

The actions of the average Brit lead to around ten tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) entering the atmosphere each year – and more than a third of that total is from air travel. Indeed, just one round trip flight from London to New York creates a climate changing effect equivalent to a couple of tonnes of carbon dioxide per person. 

Don’t take our word for it. Try out this five-minute carbon emissions calculator from the WWF and see how air travel dramatically affects your personal footprint!

By why fly, when there’s so much to see at home?

For fans of all creatures great and small, do the environment a massive favour and skip the airport next time you book a holiday.

Take the opportunity to explore the glorious beaches, secluded bays, dramatic cliffs, peaceful inlets, sand dunes, grassy wetlands and bustling harbours of home, complete with some of the most fascinating wildlife experiences.

Our top three coastal safari tips – and how to get there

White-tailed sea eagle pulling a fish from the water

>> Sea eagle safaris in Fife

One hundred years on from when the last British sea eagle was shot, the successful reintroduction of breeding pairs from Norway to this beautiful part of the Scottish coast means once again they’re a frequent sight from the sleepy fishing villages, historic castles and forested hills of the Kingdom of Fife. The new population of 200 adult White-tailed Sea Eagles are known locally as ‘flying barn doors’ due to their awe-inspiring 8ft wingspan.

White-tailed Sea Eagles are known as ‘flying barn doors’ due to their awe-inspiring wingspan

How to get there: The East Coast and CrossCountry rail lines link Fife with Aberdeen, Perth and Inverness to the north; Edinburgh and London to the south. From Edinburgh, passengers can also join the First TransPennine Express and Virgin Trains routes.

Sea pup on the beach

>> Seal safaris in North Norfolk

The largest English colonies of grey and common seals can be found basking on the sand-and-shingle beaches of North Norfolk. Out-of-water, you’d be forgiven for considering these guys cute, shambling around as they do; yet underwater they’re fearsome killers, chasing down fish and other prey at speeds of up to 40mph!

Underwater, seals chase down fish and other prey at speeds of up to 40mph!

How to get there: North Norfolk is served by the Bittern line from Norwich to coastal Cromer and Sheringham. From Sheringham, catch the regular Coasthopper bus to visit the seals at the National Trust reserve at Blakeney Point.

Two dolphins playing in the wake of a boat

>> Dolphin safaris in Cornwall

Not one, not two, but six species of dolphins visit Britain’s coastal shores and you can witness these incredible marine mammals in their natural element via one of the many dolphin watching boat tours that run regularly from Cornish resorts. If you’re feeling especially adventurous, why not combine your dolphin encounters with a snorkel sight-see of huge oceanic sunfish or the odd basking shark?

Not one, not two, but six species of dolphins visit Britain’s coastal shores

How to get there: Great Western Railway provides regular high speed services direct to Cornwall from London Paddington, now including the Night Riviera sleeper service.

What have been your favourite wildlife viewing experiences here in the UK? Share your comments with us at Greenredeem on Facebook or Twitter.

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