A WILDLIFE charity has issued advice to seal spotters.

It comes after this friendly seal, pictured, approached a children's rubber dinghy at Poole Yacht Club to say hello.

Dorset Wildlife Trust says it is one of a number of recent seal sightings along the Dorset coast and that while such encounters can be exciting, it's important to be mindful of the mammals' welfare.

Sarah Hodgson, a volunteer at the Marine Reserve at Kimmeridge, said there are regular sightings from Lyme Regis to Christchurch.

She added: “A number of seal sightings have been reported to us over the weekend. It is really exciting to encounter a seal; however, it is important to remember that these are wild animals and protected by law so their wellbeing must be your number one priority."

Here’s a reminder of what you can do to prevent causing stress to the seals:

- Keep calm, quiet and try to remain out of sight

- Limit your viewing time to 10 minutes

- Use binoculars and zoom lenses to maintain a safe distance

- Keep children and dogs well away from the seal

- Never touch or feed a seal. They have sharp teeth and a nasty, infectious bite. It can also have a detrimental effect on the seal too.

- Watercraft should maintain a slow, steady speed and course and stay at least 100 metres from the seal

- Seals can be inquisitive - if they approach you it must be on their terms. Remain calm and do not touch them.

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