THE only way is Essex for these bronzed seals who appear to be wearing fake tan.

The marine mammals were spotted basking on mud at Hamford Water Estuary, Essex, sporting an orange glow.

But despite the county's fondness for fake tan, the seals have actually acquired their colouring from rust.

Mark Iley, the Bio-Diversity Coordinator for Essex Wildlife Trust, said: "They get a curious lining of orangey red colour because they lie in salt environments.

"Their hair becomes died, a bit like Henna, it takes on oxidation from the mud.

"It's unique to Essex and south east England where there are salt water marshes."