With over 2,200 fluffy seal pups born on the Farnes in 2016, the population is booming. In winter, while you can't land on the islands, a boat tour will give you an up close and personal view of these playful creatures.
Join a monthly ranger-guided walk at Hawthorn Hive and Easington Colliery. Stop off for winter rock pooling or taking a diversion to explore freshwater streams. February walks will take in amazing snowdrop woodlands at Hawthorn Dene, a spirit-lifting sign that the land is waking up and spring is on its way.
With a dedicated ranger on hand to enhance their habitat, Wallington is fast becoming known as Northumberland's top red squirrel spots. There are more than 200 living across the estate but the enchanting West Wood is a haven for this protected species.
As a home to a whole host of seabirds, like fulmar and cormorant, where better than the Leas to get a closer look at our feathered friends? Join the Souter Bird Race and count as many different bird species as possible on 6 January or celebrate our winged friends by building them a home with bird box workshops during February half term.
In the morning light, deer have been spotted eating the acorns from the oaks along the avenue at Gibside. They've also been sighted in Snipes Dene and leaping out of the grass in front of the majestic banqueting hall. The challenging, five mile wonders of nature trail is a great route for finding these elusive creatures.
Inquisitive, playful and intelligent, otters are fun-loving creatures! They are semi-aquatic mammals and live in holts around water edges. We've sighted them at Hagg Bank at Plankey Mill, just look for clues to their whereabouts in the sand and mud on the river bank. Tread quietly and carefully and you never know what you may find.