A SEAL was seen swimming under Boscombe Pier on Thursday night.

Abigail Forsyth was having dinner with her family when they spotted a number of people watching something in the water.

“There was a big group moving from one side of the pier to the other, so we went down to have a look,” Abigail explained, “there was just one seal in the water, it was swimming back and forth under the pier.”

Seals are quite common in the area Sarah Hodgson, Volunteer at the Marine Reserve at Kimmeridge, said: “We get a number of reports of sightings, from Lyme Regis all the way to Christchurch.

“This is a male grey seal. They are larger than harbour seals, the fact that it is much darker and has a prominent 'roman' nose suggests that it is a male.”

Sarah suggests that if you happen to spot any seals along Dorset’s coast, you can help them with their catalogue of seal images.

“We would like people to report their seal sightings to us, and to provide photographs if they can,” she explained, “this way we can keep track of whether a seal is just passing through, or if it is a regular visitor to the area.”

Another seal was spotted at Hamworthy Park on Thursday morning. Frank McCann, aged 10, had a very close encounter as he filmed the seal making its way towards him at the beach.

“We spotted the seal’s head above the water, and then it started making its way up the beach,” Claire Stock, Frank’s mother explained, “we were all quite excited, it was amazing to watch it swimming up and down through the water.”

Have you seen a seal recently? If you have, you can report it to the Marine Reserve at Kimmeridge on 01929 481044, or alternatively you can email photographs to: kimmeridge@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk