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People are putting seal pups at risk by trying to 'rescue' them when they are perfectly fine.

That was the message this weekend from Sara Wood-Kwasniewska, the Hebrides Area Lead Coordinator for the British Divers Marine Life Rescue Outer Hebrides team, a group of volunteer medics responsible for the welfare of the UK's marine life.

She said: "We are receiving multiple reports of the public finding seal pups (which have been checked) on and around the beaches in both Lewis and Harris and then attempting to ferry them back into the water.

"Please do not do this. Our young seal pups do not spend all there time in the sea as some think, and if the pup is not weaned from its mother, they won't be in the sea at all.

"We do have some unweaned common seal pups at this time. Although called common they are actually less common than the grey seal and are the smaller of the two species and have declining numbers.

"Please keep a good distance away from our marine life of at least 50 metres," she said.

Trying to catch and touch the pups and people also seen to be taking selfies with the pups is causing them great distress and they will bite.

More important, it will also cause loss of contact with its mother and will seriously affect its chance of survival.

Dogs must also be kept on leads. Whilst we want people to enjoy their holiday on our beautiful islands, please respect our unique eco system and our marine life.

"Please also ensure you take all litter home as plastics, such as bottles and carrier bags as they are a huge threat here, along with bbq trays and beer cans and there plastic rings are also being left behind.

"We also ask the public to report to us or the SSPCA any of this unwanted behaviour and if the kind few see a piece of litter we'd be extremely grateful if you'd kindly remove it and place in a bin.

"However, If you have a genuine call of concern please do not hesitate to contact myself directly or via text on 07531 910952 or our Head Office on 01825 765546," says Sara.