Farne Islands National Nature Reserve



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The remote and rocky Farne Islands NNR contains one of the most exciting and significant seabird colonies in the country, with up to 87,000 pairs of seabirds, including about 37,000 pairs of puffin. The reserve consists of a small archipelago of islands (between 15 and 28, depending on the tide) lying about three miles off the north coast of Northumberland. It is also home to a large grey seal colony, with more than 1,400 pups born every autumn. The islands are probably most famous for their puffins and Arctic terns, of which around 2,200 pairs breed here, but many more species live alongside them. Though some species live on the islands all year round, most are migratory like the Arctic terns, flying in for the summer months to breed and raise their young. Some birds return year on year, flying huge distances from the Antarctic and Africa. Other breeding seabirds on the Farnes include shag (around 800 pairs); kittiwake (4,000 pairs); eider duck (600 pairs); sandwich tern (900 pairs), and guillemot (about 51,000 individuals).

Farne Islands National Nature Reserve
Phone : 01665 720651


About The area

Discover Northumberland

If it’s history you’re after, there’s heaps of it in Northumberland. On Hadrian’s Wall you can imagine scarlet-cloaked Roman legionaries keeping watch for painted Pictish warriors while cursing the English weather and dreaming of home. Desolate battlefield sites and hulking fortresses such as Alnwick, Dunstanburgh, Bamburgh and Warkworth are reminders that this, until not so very long ago, was a contested border region. The ruins of Lindisfarne bear witness to the region’s early Christian history.

Northumberland also has some of Britain’s best beaches. On summer days, and even in winter, you’ll see surfers and other brave souls making the most of the coast. Inland, there are some great walks and bike rides in the dales of the Cheviot Hills and the Simonsides – just hilly enough to be interesting, without being brutally steep. There's dramatic scenery in the High Pennines, where waterfalls plunge into deep valleys, and there are swathes of heather-scented moorland. Northumberland National Park covers over 400 square miles of moorland and valleys with clear streams and pretty, stone-built villages. It’s just the place for wildlife watching too. You’ll find flocks of puffins, guillemots and other seabirds around the Farne Islands, and seals and dolphins offshore.

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