Northumberland Wildlife Watching Boating Code of Conduct

We are very fortunate in Northumberland to share our waters with an astonishing variety of marine life, including grey seals, whales, dolphins, porpoises and sea birds. These special animals draw many visitors each year and they are an important asset to local wildlife tourism businesses. The international significance of these species means they are also protected by various nature conservation laws so we must avoid disturbing them.

Seals can be naturally curious animals, and the grey seal colony based at the Farne Islands has become accustomed to regular boating activity in the waters of Northumberland over many years. Whales and dolphins can also be very inquisitive. As they pass through our waters they will often approach boats and enjoy spending time in their company. Breeding seabirds return year after year to nest on our shores and islands, and they have also become accustomed to the visiting boats.

These important species will continue to use our shallow seas as long as disturbance is kept to a minimum. This code of conduct has been developed with boat operators to formalise the best practice they have developed over many years of operation, and through their experienced interaction with local marine life.

The following operators have signed up to the code:

Billy Shiels Farne Islands Boat Trips

Golden Gate Farne Islands Boat Trips

Serenity Farne Island Boat Trips

Sovereign Diving

Farne Islands Diving Charters

Farne Diving Services

Dave Gray’s Puffin Cruises

Farne Island Divers

Farne Island Voyages

Operators worked with the following
organisations to develop the code: