The Cornish Seal Sanctuary

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary - blog post image
BY Julia Thum | 0 Comment(s)

The charity of the month for April is The Cornish Seal Sanctuary and I was absolutely thrilled when one of my favourite writers, Su Bristow, prize-winning author of the fabulous Sealskin, a novel based on the selfie legend (one of my top three adult reads of 2017) agreed to come on the site and introduce the charity. Thank you and welcome Su:-

'I first visited the Cornish Seal Sanctuary nearly thirty years ago, when my daughter was three. She still remembers it, partly because she'd never seen anything like the seals before, and partly because it was there that we acquired her favourite soft toy, a baby grey seal. I named it Selkie - the legends of the selkies were among my favourites even then - and we have it still, much loved and slightly the worse for wear. My granddaughter plays with it now, and I look forward to visiting the seals again with her one day, and telling her their stories.'

That is a wonderful introduction to the charity and insight into your beautiful novel.  Thank you Su.

The Cornish Seal Sanctuary is set in the picturesque Helford Estuary, by the beautiful village of Gweek in Cornwall. The Seal Sanctuary is a rescue, rehabilitation, and release centre for seals, and most seasons they rescue over 50 pups

It started in the winter of 1958 when a baby seal, only a few hours old, was washed up on the beach at St Agnes. Ken Jones lived with his wife Mary just one hundred yards from the beach, he picked up the pup and took it back to his small garden. For many years he ran a rescue centre for seals and oiled birds, with just one pool, at St Agnes. The news of his work with seals spread, and he received more and more calls about injured seals. Ken realised he needed more room, as the single pool at St Agnes was just not big enough. Ken had to find a larger site to build a permanent rescue centre and was offered land by the beautiful river Helford in Gweek.

The Sanctuary moved to Gweek in 1975, and Ken slowly built up the size, and number of pools, so he could care for the increasing number of seals that were being rescued around the Cornish coast. Today there are nursery pools, convalescent and resident pools, as well as a specially designed hospital. The Sanctuary has rescued many seals over the years, and most are well enough to be released back into the wild after treatment, but some seals, for various reasons, would not survive back in the wild, so they have them as guests. In addition to the grey seals, common seals, Californian and Patagonian sea lions, the sanctuary provides haven to a variety of other animals such as otters, penguins, sheep, ponies and goats.

Occasionally the Sanctuary┬┤s facilities and expertise are called upon to aid in the rescue of other marine creatures such as dolphins and turtles.

If you are in Cornwall, please do visit this wonderful place.  You can visit their website here http://

You can find Su on Twitter,  and you can find her novel Sealskin in your local library, local bookshop or order it online



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