20th Birthday Conference

If you haven’t already heard, it’s our 20th Birthday!

CSGRT have been monitoring, identifying and protecting grey seals around the SW since 2000. Incredibly some of the seals we first met in 2000 have been seen again in 2020!

To celebrate, we arranged our first ever seal conservation conference! We went virtual because of COVID-19 and we are delighted we did.

Our conference ‘Sharing our Seas: Seals and People’ took place between 27th June and 4th July 2020 exactly 20 years after our founder Sue Sayer made her first ever seal record and began our seal ID catalogue.

Thanks to a huge team effort led by our Marine Ranger Katie and beautifully illustrated by Ranger Emily, we have a wonderful online legacy. Our 18 talks, covering many aspects of seals conservation, and 3 live online webinars (where supporters got to ask a variety of experts about their work, as well as network with each other) will remain on CSGRT’s YouTube channel forever.

Talks were released in daily themes:

Day 1

Day 2 and 3Day 4 and 5

Day 5 and 6

There is no doubt that this conference has taken us all out of our comfort zones, but that is where you learn the most. Our inspiring volunteers have met the challenge of recording their own online talks during lockdown putting all our IT skills to the test. We are immensely proud to have pulled it off so professionally.

This has been an awesome experience and we are delighted to have had some really wonderful feedback from our viewers:

  • Sarah: ‘ I’ve really enjoyed the talks so far. Truly inspirational, very informative and a great celebration of all your hard work and amazing achievements over the past 20 years.’
  • Niki: ‘I just wanted to drop a line to say congratulations on 20 AMAZING years! I’ve been watching your conference videos – they are so wonderful. Well done, a huge amount of work. You guys must be so proud, I’m so proud for you and to be in a place with all this incredible work happening.’
  • Dylan: ‘Thank you for all these great talks. I’ve really enjoyed them and learnt lots from all the amazing speakers. Happy birthday and keep up the good work.’
  • Jesh: ‘Congratulations, this is a fabulous piece of work from you all.’


Thanks guys! We’ve had a great write up from one of our SW business networks too – thank you Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Growth and Skills Hub. Our globally grey seals are lucky to have us all!

Huge thanks to all our speakers without whom we would have had no conference. You have enriched our knowledge and understanding in many diverse ways! THANK YOU Sue Sayer, Kate Hockley, Dan Jarvis, Marion Beaulieu, Emily Pollitt, Bex Allen, Katie Bellman, Sarah Millward, Matt Witt, Gillian Burke, Claire Lewis, Derek Spooner, Grace Jones, Nat Waddington, Abby Crosby, James Barnett, Rose Summers, Josh Pawlowski, Rob Wells, Gem Simmons, Amanda James, Bernie McConnell and Sal Bennett! You are all sealy stars!


We are hugely grateful that this event was made possible by the Heritage Lottery Fund.