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Sealife Sanctuary Cornwall
National Seal Sanctuary
Gweek, near Helston,
Cornwall TR12 6UG

About Sealife Sanctuary Cornwall

Sealife Sanctuary Cornwall is located in the glorious Helford Estuary, not far from the outstanding village of Gweek. It has won a reputation as not only one of Britain’s most advanced marine conservation institutes, but also as a great family day out. A Sealife Sanctuary Cornwall ticket affords visitors the chance to see the National Seal Sanctuary in action, rescuing seal puppies – with more than 40 saved last season alone. Visitors can also see how the centre operates, as it has done since the winter of 1958. At that juncture, a young seal was found floundering on St. Agnes beach and was rescued by Ken Jones. He founded a rescue centre in his garden for other washed-up seals and oiled birds, with but a single pool for washing them. The pressing requirement for greater space to continue his rescue, rehabilitation and return operations was soon evident, and he set up shop in Gweek in 1975. The Sealife Sanctuary Cornwall is now celebrating its 50th anniversary as both a cutting edge conservation institute and a super family day out.  

Ken unveiled new pools at Gweek, and the Sealife Sanctuary Cornwall has grown since with Nursery, Convalescence and Resident pools, along with a dedicated Hospital, which expanded with isolation pools, and treatment and preparation areas. Considerable numbers of seals have been returned to their home environments after treatment, although individuals that could not survive there remain resident and can be viewed by ticket holders. Some of the seal species that may be spotted on a family day out to the centre are grey, common, cape fur and hooded seals, as well as sea lions. More exotic types of these include Californian and Patagonian, while the Sealife Sanctuary Cornwall additionally provides a sanctuary to many other types of creatures, among them otters, ponies and goats, all of which can be adopted by ticket holders. Weekly progress bulletins are posted on the centre’s website and, every now and again, the Sealife Sanctuary Cornwall’s facilities and staff become embroiled in rescuing other marine species such as dolphins and turtles. In fact, as Sealife Sanctuary Cornwall deals with so many varieties of sea creature, school groups can gain much enlightenment about the natural world about us, and interns are welcome, the centre providing an informative as well as fun family day out. 

Ticket holders to Sealife Sanctuary Cornwall can enjoy captivating parkland, as well as the gift shop and education centre, while special occasions such as birthdays can be celebrated with quizzes and goody bags. It’s a unique venue and guests will give their seal of approval for sure!

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