PEOPLE have been warned to keep their dogs and children away from a seal spotted soaking up the springtime sun on beaches in Sussex.

HM Coastguard Hastings said that, though the seal may look cute, “they have a nasty bite and will defend themselves aggressively if they feel threatened”.

They said: “We are aware of a seal visiting our coastline between Hastings and Pevensey Bay.

The seal is healthy and is being monitored by Coastguard Officers and by our friends at British Divers Marine Life Rescue.

It is not uncommon for seals to come ashore, in fact this is part of their natural behaviour, they do this to digest food and rest. If you see a seal on our beaches, please keep your distance so the animal does not become stressed.

Keep your dogs and children well away.

Seals may look cute, but they have a nasty bite and will defend themselves aggressively if they feel threatened. It is also important that you do not attempt to chase the seal back into the water.”