Meet our Patron!

Our first contact with Gillian Burke was during Springwatch 2017 for their piece on grey seals. We then met her at several local events and felt an instant connection with her through our shared values and ethos. We immediately decided that Gillian would make an excellent ambassador for our charity and we were absolutely delighted and thrilled when she agreed to be our first patron. We could not wish for a more knowledgeable, enthusiastic and caring champion for the work we do to protect our precious marine environment.

Gillian compressed

Gillian Burke CSGRT patron:

“I was born in Kenya but have lived and worked in all-but-one of the seven continents.  I had the good fortune of being raised in a family who were interested in the natural world and also with community.  From a very early age, I grew up surrounded by environmentalists and activists, so it has been very much a part of my fabric to be engaged with the world around me.

As a biologist, TV presenter and Cornish resident, I have had the pleasure of meeting many of the dedicated people involved in conservation work on this beautiful and wild peninsula.  The work of Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust in particular, has so much potential in not just protecting Cornwall’s grey seal population, but educating people about these incredible animals and the wider issues facing marine ecosystems and the health of our planet.

The UK has 40% of the worlds grey seals making them a special responsibility species.  Yet, these animals are facing a growing number of manmade problems from plastic pollution, entanglement in ghost fishing gear, boat strikes, dog bites, human disturbance and encroachment at their haul out sites… the list goes on.  As land-breeding marine mammals, grey seals are inextricably linked with the land and, as such, act as ambassadors for the countless marine creatures that we never see but whose lives we impact.

The CSGRT’s work plays an integral part in helping conserve the Celtic Sea population that also serves as a barometer for the health of our coastal waters.  It is an honour to be the first patron of this highly effective charity.”

IMG_8948 unnamed-1

All photos within this article thanks to Nina Constable.