At the launch, SC Joshua Grayson, PC Chris Shelley, Gavin Devaney from Natural England, beach warden Kevin Hobart with Monty, Andy Bloomfield and Paul Eele, Holkham Estate. Pictures: Ian Burt

The Holkham Estate was the setting for the official launch of a summer initiative to protect wildlife and habitats along Norfolk’s coast.

Officers from Norfolk Police joined RSPCA, Natural England and other organisations to launch Operation Seabird last Friday.

On patrol at Holkham, beach warden Kevin Hobart with Monty.

They will be out meeting visitors at beaches including Holkham, Holme, Snettisham and Heacham until the end of August to raise awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving wildlife habitats and tackling disturbance to seals, sea birds and nesting birds.

Rural crime officer PC Chris Shelley said: “We’re proud to be taking part in Operation Seabird this year and our focus will be on protecting our vulnerable ground nesting sea birds, the Little Terns and Ringed Plover, ensuring the seals on our beaches are not disturbed and educating and encouraging visitors to be responsible and consider how their actions may affect our wildlife.”

He warned while the focus of the initiative will be to engage, explain and educate visitors, action will be taken against anyone who wilfully and intentionally damages and disrupts wildlife and their habitats.

RSPCA inspector and wildlife officer Becky Harper with rural crime officer PC Chris Shelley.

The RSPB recently released footage of five quad bikers riding across nesting sites at Snettisham beach in April.

Police said other previous coastline incidents had included dogs off leads disturbing nesting birds or seals, wild campers lighting fires on beaches and canoeists getting too close to seals.