Enjoy Respect Protect
Easy to say and much harder to do
Do we hide our true feelings and natural responses in public?
Can we hide the impacts of chronic stress?
Chances are that for many of us the answer to both these…Read More
We really can make a difference you know!
In an era where many of us have anxieties about the biodiversity, climate and cost of living crises, it is easy to get depressed and feel disempowered. But we shouldn’t.
Radical change is built form incremental actions and…Read More
Seal pups in need
The 2023 SW UK pupping season kicked off in earnest around the same time as last year in the last week of August (with a trickle of pups prior to that). This is EARLY! Records seem to suggest that the pupping season is moving forwards by a few days each year, now overlapping with…Read More
Protect Baby Seals
The SW seal pupping season has just begun!
Newborn Grey seal pup born this week. Taken with a Nikon P1000 3000mm zoom lens from a distant clifftop out of sight from mum and pup.
We love developing new partnerships, especially ones focused on helping seal pups. It is…Read More
Sea Change: Seals
The Seal Research Trust (SRT) is renowned for its citizen science photo identification research. A key element of this work is our post release monitoring of rescued and rehabilitated seals released from a variety of centres. In 2021, SRT published a peer reviewed paper in Marine Mammal Science summarising our findings from an incredible…Read More
Seal law change
It has been quite a week …… as we have made a lot of progress towards our overall aim of getting seal disturbance made illegal (as it is with whales and dolphins).Tuesday saw MPs debating ‘Seal protection’ in Westminster Hall led by Sarah Olney MP.Thanks to Mary Tester from Thames Seal Watch, Sarah Olney…Read More
Defra MCW Code
New Marine and Coastal Wildlife Code
We are all super excited that Defra has launched a brand new Marine and Coastal Wildlife Code. This is something we have been working on with Defra’s wonderful Lara Turtle (Seal’s policy advisor) and team for over 18 months.
Why do seals…Read More
Space for Seals
Brigstow Institute Seedcorn Funding project ‘Space for Seals’ backgroundIn 2021, The Seal Research Trust (SRT) published a report commissioned by DEFRA called the ‘People Protecting Precious Places Project’. This detailed that seals were experiencing a statistically significant increase in disturbance as a result of human interactions throughout the summer months and that tripper boats…Read More
It’s an honour – MBE!
Please see below for an UPDATE about Sue’s INVESTITURE
Sue Sayer, Founder and Director of the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT), also known as the Seal Research Trust (SRT) nationally, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year’s Honours 2023.Sue has dedicated over 20 years to marine conservation and…Read More
We transform field surveys into digitised data that helps create resources to inspire people about seals
We have had another action-packed year here at CSGRT thanks to an enormous voluntary team effort!2022 has seen us create a volunteer Conservation Team to help spread expertise and…Read More
Climate change is affecting us all! To preserve a liveable planet we need to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. Already the planet is 1.1 degrees warmer than in the 1800’s. This is the greatest challenge humans face. We need to completely change the way we live our lives, particularly in terms of energy….Read More
Loose the loop
The horrific and shocking injuries from looped items have been an issue recorded by the Seal Research Trust since 2000. Given the unique data set we hold, we are able to provide useful background evidence to help drive and support solutions to the ever worsening issue of marine plastics. This time, we collaborated with Keep Britain Tidy’s…Read More
Help nature save us
Protecting nature protects us.
The planet doesn’t need a plan B, we do.
Without nature we have no air, water or food.
We already face triple crises – climate, environmental and biodiversity.
Failure to act over the next decade will see future generations doomed.
Securing the future of our species depends on us protecting the…
Pupping has begun
Pupping season is here: Give pups space: Disturbance is damaging: Think seal and put pups first!
This year has flown and our pupping seasons are starting earlier than they used to, likely a result of climate change affecting prey availability and sea conditions. This means we are still enjoying our peak holiday coastal activities, leaving…
A future for us all
At the Seal Research Trust (SRT), we work hard to ensure that our next generations have a future.
The Planet doesn’t need a Plan B…We do!
The planet is a lump of rock that will survive until something collides with it and then it will likely only shatter into smaller pieces. Humans on the other…
Watch Seals Well
We are lucky and privileged to live and work in a country with a beautiful coastline. We want everyone to share amazing marine experiences to spread public appreciation of our coastal wildlife. At the same time, we want all our cumulative activity to have NO negative impact on our fragile coastal habitats and species, particularly…Read More
Solid discs only!
Curiosity can kill. Seals learn through play and explore things they find in the sea. They swim over, under, round and sometimes through these objects of interest. With unbreakable plastic, this can be life threatening.
In one week earlier in 2022, Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) volunteers Andrea and Vanessa collected 6 flying rings…
Operation Seabird SW
Operation Seabird SW launched on 14/04/22 #OpSeabirdSW
Operation Seabird is a national initiative that aims to engage with the public, businesses, and community-based organisations to raise awareness about the sensitivities of our coastline and showing how simple changes can reduce pressure on our unique marine life and fragile habitats.
Operation Seabird SW is a partnership…
2021 SRT and Seals
Basically 2021 saw a massive transformation in our charity that has continued into 2022 as we ride the post COVID technological wave. We are now trying to be more self funding through our Online Shop, Wild Seal Supporter and Adoption Scheme and Donations.
Our Annual Report was finally written this month. It takes about 2 months for…
10 Minute Rule Bill for better protection
If you had told us in 2020 we would be here today, despite a global pandemic, I would not have believed you. Wednesday Feb 9th is a milestone day after an incredible 2021 for UK seals. Tracey Crouch (MP for Chatham and Aylesford) is presenting a 10 Minute…
RRR really works
Monitoring seals around wild coastlines is always a wonderfully uplifting experience and identifying individual seals from their fur patterns is hugely rewarding for Seal Research Trust (SRT) rangers and volunteers. Knowing a seal’s life story, movements and behaviours is a real privilege. Whilst most people are interested in discovering these stories, there is one group…Read More
Seals on Countryfile
Giving seals a voice is what we do! So, when the opportunity to share their stories with 5 million TV viewers comes along we jump at the chance. Even so, the responsibility to get the tone and messaging just right for maximum benefit to seals weighs heavily on our shoulders.
Becky attended one of our…
Are you a Seal Supporter?
Do you share our passion for seals and protecting their wellbeing and home? Then why not get involved and fundraise for CSGRT if you have a few hours to spare, or a skill that could be put to good use! As one of our Seal-Supporters, you would be raising funds to help us continue our…Read More
We are super excited!
Back in March we had a film shoot with the ‘Off the Fence’ filming team to record our slot for their new feature ‘Underwater Underdogs’ on grey seal conservation in Cornwall with Director and film maker Ed Maddocks.
This has been a wonderful collaboration for us with our rescue and rehabilitation partners…
VIP speech, zoom, visit
In Marine Super Year 2021, little did we know when CSGRT were mentioned by Rebecca Pow in her Ocean Recovery Conference speech, that we would soon meet her online via zoom and then she would visit us later in the year. Despite her busy schedule as Parliamentary Under-secretary of State for Domestic Environment, Rebecca approached…Read More
Answering your questions about the Isles of Scilly’s most unusual visitor – a Walrus – provided by BDMLR, Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust and the St Mary’s Harbour Team.
Please Note: This information is accurate at time of writing (12/07/2021) and will be updated as new detail emerges/there is something…
Ministerial VIP Visit
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust hosted a 2 hour visit from Environment Secretary George Eustice to highlight the increasing challenges facing the UK’s globally rare grey seals.
Highlights of our discussions with George included:
● We all need to enjoy, respect and protect our native grey and common seals
● Seals are chronically disturbed (up to every 14…
Isles of Scilly Walrus
As many of you will know, a walrus appeared on Cornwall’s north coast and has been present in the Isles of Scilly since mid-June, an exceptional first record of this species here.
Unfortunately, his presence in a commercial harbour within an island community is posing huge risks, first to himself, and to livelihoods but potentially…
G7 Op Marine Mammal
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust and other local marine wildlife groups would like to thank our security services for their help during the G7.
Our local Police Rural Affairs Officers Chris Collins and Julian Fry set up a Marine Advisory Group to collaborate with key marine mammal related groups operating in Cornwall. Led by Abby Crosby…
Our UK speciality marine species faces multiple complex marine threats accelerated by climate change. As regular readers will know, a key escalating issue with seals is the impact of recreational disturbance of seals by individuals, outdoor activity providers and tripper companies.
There are more harbour porpoise (228K) in southern North Sea than grey seals in…
Do not disturb!
This year, the public are being urged to ‘GIVE SEALS SPACE’
• Campaign launched by Seal Alliance and government to help protect seals from human disturbance
• Just 25% of young seals survive to the age of 2 and interactions with the public can lead to mother and pup fatalities
• UK is home to…
Our Green Recovery Challenge Fund ‘People Protecting Precious Places’ project is all about working with new audiences to spread key environmental messages further and wider.
Our seas need saving for future generations by reaching out to build relationships with new audiences
Being a charity championing the natural world can be hard. We all feel more…
A seal history first
For some of us, seals play a very big part of our lives. Adge Lane routinely surveys seals on his local patch in northwest Wales, keeping a watchful eye for issues and alerting others when something interesting has been seen. You just never know when a routine survey is going to turn out to be…Read More
2020: Extraordinary year
At Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT), we described 2018 as a landmark year, 2019 saw us riding a wave of success, which we managed to sustain in 2020 despite COVID19. Below are excerpts from CSGRT’s 2020 Annual Report. Click here to read or download the full report.
We began 2020 with 4 paid rangers….
Green and blue recovery
It has been a tough year for everyone, but at CSGRT, we are ending 2020 on a high, with something wonderful to celebrate!
Excitingly, we have been awarded our biggest grant ever by the Green Recovery Challenge Fund to:
Help people have amazing seal experiences without impact
Create ‘Watching Seals Well’ resources (website, signs, leaflets)
Simon Reeve in Cornwall
It had been an incredible year for media coverage here at CSGRT with appearances on Countryfile and Springwatch by the time Freddie from Beagle Media got in touch. Freddie was directing and producing a new TV series. He would be documenting writer and presenter Simon Reeve as he journeyed across Cornwall to explore the incredible…Read More
Septimus wins award
Septimus ‘some seal’ wins posthumous Innovation Award!
Even in death, Septimus lives on and his story is inspiring a whole new generation to care for our oceans.
Mevagissey Museum has just won the Innovation Award in the Cornwall Heritage Awards 2020 with the fabulous Septimus Exhibition and workshops.
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT)…Read More
COVID Silver lining
We’re living through unprecedented history. Whilst devastating for those suffering from or fighting the symptoms and indirect impacts of Coronavirus, there may be glimmers of a silver lining. The outbreak has enhanced our community spirit and we’ve appreciated the importance of our local environment for exercise and natural wellbeing. Let’s hope this persists beyond lockdown.
Our Crowdfunder rollercoaster was full of steep learning curves and amazingly exhilarating moments as we got wonderful inspiring comments and donations from everyone.
To SMASH through our target has been truly incredible – we cannot THANK YOU ALL enough for making this possible. We have made our Crowdfunder page a permanent feature as for some…
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…
Septimus & Springwatch
My name is Septimus (#SeptimusSomeSeal) and I am an adult male grey seal – technically a dead grey seal skeleton! Amid Coronavirus lockdown easing, I was asked to appear on National TV on my favourite programme of all time – Springwatch! After sorting out some logistical issues, my chaperone (Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust’s Director…Read More
COVID19 and seals
We are all living through an unprecedented period in history. Whilst devastating for those who have suffered from or are fighting the symptoms and indirect impacts of Coronavirus, there may be glimmers of a silver lining. The outbreak seems to have enhanced our community spirit to take action to help each other and the most…Read More
Following the success of our 100th systematic seal survey for a project spanning 11 years around Looe Island by Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust, Looe Marine Conservation Group and Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Countryfile came to town to film our partnership work along with other local features, including the wonderful Ellie Jackson following up by talking…Read More
Kurt Augusta Septimus
Seals are part of Cornwall’s heritage having been around for around 8000 years! Art is a key component of Cornwall’s cultural heritage too.
On Friday 21st February these two worlds aligned as Septimus and Augusta (CSGRT’s 2.4m adult male and .92m 3 day old pup skeletons) visited the Jackson Foundation Gallery in St Just in…
CSGRT’s 2019 review
I am still pinching myself. What an incredible year it has been! 2019 was a landmark year for CSGRT and grey seals everywhere.
All of this has been made possible by our amazing funders, who we cannot thank enough: National Lottery Heritage Fund, People’s Postcode Lottery (Postcode Local Trust), Natural England, TEVI, LUSH cosmetics, TESCOS Bag…
LISPIP is 100!
My alarm shocked me awake at 5:15am on 28/12/19! Looe Island seal and bird surveys always require an early start and this was no exception! An hour later I was packed up in the van and on my way with heaps of survey kit – telescopes, binoculars, cameras and enough food to sustain me all…Read More
Septimus back home
Long standing friends of Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) ‘Seymour Gospel Hall’ in St Austell, welcomed Septimus to their centre for an action-packed programme organised by the wonderful Ken Rudge and his team. For two days Septimus was the star of the show for four classes of key stage 2 pupils from Sandyhill Academy…Read More
Seals never cease to surprise us with their behaviour and this year has been no exception!
In 2019, we have had seals from a huge area visiting Cornwall arriving from all directions!
On 25th March on one routine survey at a single haul out site in West Cornwall we photographed seals visiting us who have…
Let’s Save Seals Now
At the beginning of 2019 we were very fortunate to be one of Tesco’s chosen charity for their Bags of Help scheme in Camborne. Thanks to shoppers and all of our volunteers’ support, we won the biggest share (£4000) of the grant available for January/February.
This enabled us to run our “Let’s Save Seals Now”…
Septimus at sea
Septimus’ great adventures continue.
Invited to be a VIP guest on Lundy Island, Septimus jumped at the chance, as the centre piece of CSGRT’s mobile, pop up marine centre exhibition. St Helen’s church has recently been beautifully renovated and made a spectacular setting for CSGRT’s exhibition to help celebrate the island’s 50th anniversary of being…
Gannets and ‘ghosts’
***WARNING DISTRESSING STORY AND PHOTOS***
Gannets are stunningly beautiful seabirds. Big and powerful, they dive up to speeds of 60 mph hitting the sea surface with enormous force. Their skulls are specifically designed to minimise and withstand the incredible forces generated as they hit the water.
‘Ghosts’ are the remnants of lost fishing gear that…
Following excellent regional news coverage of the Seal Alliance’s ‘Do not disturb’ report and campaign, here’s what happened yesterday!
An early morning survey ended with a major disturbance incident in which 50% of the seals hauled on offshore rocks stampeded into the sea.
Despite my familiarity with drones, even I was caught unawares as the…
Do not disturb!
CSGRT, as a member of the Seal Alliance, have just issued a press release about a collaborative report highlighting the shocking and chronic levels of disturbance impacting seals across the UK.
We aim to reduce the effects of human activity by raising public awareness about how to enjoy and get the best views of our…
As you may know already, we have a very special member of Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust – an adult male grey seal skeleton called Septimus!
Since joining CSGRT, Septimus has had a rather busy schedule – so busy in fact, that his partner in crime Rob Wells has to keep a separate diary for…
It’s been a busy month for the team at CSGRT HQ, so we are a bit behind in telling you that…
We were on Springwatch!
Bright and early on the 15th of May, we met the lovely Springwatch team down at Newquay Harbour – a regular survey base for us, as it is where…
Fundraising for seals
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) are hugely grateful to our amazing team of volunteers who brave all conditions to monitor grey seals on the Lizard every single day, all year round.
These inspiring people not only record and photograph seals on a daily basis, but they process these photos to identify the individual seals…
Our amazing volunteers keep a constant watch over our precious seals.
Nichola’s eagle eyes spotted a large rockfall on the West Cornwall haul out beach on Friday.
This is not the first time seals have been at risk from rockfalls here and several have been killed in previous cliff collapses.
There is one young…Read More
This week our volunteer CSGRT boat survey team completed our springtime STAPIP (St Agnes to Trevose) boat based survey.
We have been running these surveys since October 2011, so this was our 28th time surveying this coastal transect!
Awesome surveyors …Read More
What a surprise to find adult male ‘8 Horns’ resting peacefully on the foreshore during my routine West Cornwall survey last week!
He is a bit of a celebrity you see! In the seal world we never know who will catapult themselves to fame next and this was 8 Horn’s turn!
8 Horns in…Read More
Help us help Ellis!
Ellis is a common (or harbour) seal, and contrary to their name, common seals are very uncommon around the coast of Cornwall.
Ellis was first seen in October 2009 by Claire Lewis, a warden on Looe Island Nature Reserve. It is hard to tell the sex of common seals and at first, Ellis was thought…
Thank you Bowgie Inn!
A big thank you to our third business supporter… the Bowgie Inn!
Perfectly perched on the West Pentire Headland, overlooking the golden sands of Crantock Beach, is the Bowgie Inn – also known as ‘the pink pub’!
The pub has panoramic coastal views of Crantock, the Gannel estuary and the dramatic headlands nearby, as well as…Read More
Our latest photo ID hub!
In 2018 a generous grant from the Postcode Local Trust (supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery) enabled us to formalise and take forward 15 photo ID hubs around the coast of Cornwall and Devon – including Lundy and the Isles of Scilly.
The latest team to join this exciting adventure with CSGRT…Read More
Leave as you find!
Our fabulous volunteer, Haley Dolton (from University of Exeter, Penryn) made us a beautiful ‘infographic’ leaflet describing the ideal seal interaction showing how to watch seals safely!
Do you watch seals from land? If so, here’s our advice about how to get the best view of seals.
Seals need to spend time on land to rest,…Read More
After 20 years, CSGRT Rangers are still discovering new things taking scientific knowledge forward about our globally rare grey seals. Lucky bunting was just 2/3 years old when she was entangled in lost trawl net, so Sue Sayer contacted British Divers Marine Life Rescue and on 12/07/16, Dan Jarvis led a rescue enabling Sue to…Read More
Bracing and wild
Cornwall’s north coast seas are breathtaking, especially in the middle of winter!
12 hardy souls braved the bracing and wild seals with the sole aim of protecting this special environment! Not only did we survey marine megafauna species, sea birds and their ledges, but we recorded plankton levels, human activity and collected sea surface samples of…
Tesco Bags of Help
Seals are always having too much fun to know that their future lies in human hands!
Please help us HELP SEALS!
VOTE for us with your lovely little BLUE TOKENS!
CSGRT are one of the Tesco’s bags of help charities (Camborne store) until 28/02/19
Their future is in our hands!
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust…
Inspiring young people
Following Sue’s recent visit to Nexus at Camborne Science and International Academy, CSGRT received an email containing a fantastic poem written by one of their Year 8 students, Evie.
We think it is very inspiring and thought provoking!
Please do read right to the bottom!
The only way is up
Our marine life is a…
We are delighted to announce our very first business supporter and welcome Aspects Holidays to our team!
This is what Jenna Ali, Aspects Holidays Marketing Assistant says about their support decision:
“Aspects Holidays is proud to be supporting the Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust.
We have recently decided to work with Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust in a…
Our work works! Help seals promote your tourist business across the SW and beyond!
We love grey seals – they are amazingly beautiful and the SW’s iconic, globally rare speciality species. By identifying the unique fur patterns of each individual seal, we can monitor their health and activities, checking that they can continue to thrive…
Coastal – Grey seals
Ben Watkins talks to us about his experience of creating and producing ‘Coastal’:
I first got involved with documenting grey seal conservation during my final year project at Falmouth University studying Marine & Natural History Photography. In the previous term I had completed another documentary photo story on the conservation of loggerhead turtles on the…
This week our Rangers (Marion, Katie, Emily, Sarah and Stacey) and Trustee team (Sue and Kate) spent a day training alongside Natural England team member Kate S, Polzeath Marine Conservation Group members Cathy and Annie and Tina who runs Our Only World charity. Generously hosted by Tina in Polzeath, we all enjoyed the inspirational floor…Read More
CSA award for CSGRT
At CSGRT, we have won our second prestigious award in two weeks. We are genuinely gobsmacked at this incredible achievement. The Cornwall Sustainability Awards recognise leaders proactively managing and growing the natural environment and CSGRT won the Individual category.
It was an honour for CSGRT trustees (Sue, Dan and Kate) and Ranger (Marion –…Read More
Hi from Stacey
I am studying a BSc at Cornwall College Newquay in Applied Zoology and Conservation. I previously had taken my A Levels after I finished school, however I didn’t truly discover my passion until a few years later, when I decided I wanted to work in conservation, so I went back to college to study an…Read More
We only WON!
Cornwall Volunteer Awards
Each year Volunteer Cornwall’s annual awards recognise the efforts and achievements of individual volunteering within our community, celebrating the contribution that local people make. This year Tina Robinson (our Ghost Gear data analyst) nominated us for the Environmental Award (sponsored by Cornwall Wildlife Trust CWT).
Marion (CSGRT Amazement and…Read More
IoS PIP partners
CSGRT and IoSWT Photo ID Partnership begins
This week we were delighted to spend a few short days over in the beautiful Isles of Scilly with the Wildlife Trust (IoSWT) team sharing expertise on grey seal photo ID. As every seal has its own different fur pattern, so each animal can be recognised individually for…
The legend that is Bob Earll has finally committed his huge body of Marine Conservation knowledge to print. His marine experience spans 40 years, so he has witnessed marine research and conservation grow from a handful of people (when he worked with the Marine Conservation Society in 1978) to a mainstream discipline involving governments, charities,…Read More
Free at last!
At last rescue team frees entangled seal after four-month operation.
Back on 17th May 2018, Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) surveyors sighted a juvenile male grey seal in West Cornwall that was entangled around the neck with green fishing net and became known as ‘Lucky Star’ in the hope he would be able to…
Pups! What to do!
The 2018/19 pupping season has started!
The first grey seal pup of the 2018/19 season was reported on Samson around 20/08/18. At the time of writing, this sighting was not confrmed as photos are essential to distinguish between pale juveniles during their first annual moult and maternally dependent pups under three weeks old whose longer…
Oh no x 2!
Oh no! ‘Medallion Man’ and ‘Radley’ have both been HOOKED by angling lures. Sadly this is an unintended consequence of feeding seals in harbours.
On a recent boat survey, CSGRT witnessed Medallion Man – an iconic adult male grey seal begging unmercifully around a Newquay Harbour tripper boat, from which he got fed to the delight of…
HAIRSTORY and seals
HAIRSTORY and seals
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) are delighted to have been chosen by HAIRSTORY as one of their five charities (and their only UK based charity) for their 1% for the Planet quarterly vote!
HAIRSTORY is a family-run upstart startup company in New York (USA) helping people make better choices…
Ground breaking eDNA
Sue Sayer from Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) first heard about environmental DNA (eDNA) back in 2012 at a European Cetacean Society Conference in Galway. It was a very exciting and truly ground breaking, non invasive survey method that would be a game changer in marine research.
So, when CSGRT were approached by Alex Hayward and…
Food for Thought
Let’s all learn from Box’s horrific injuries and life threatening experience!
PLEASE WATCH our film ‘Food for Thought’ explaining why it is important to do the ‘TOUGH LOVE’ thing and NEVER FEED wild seals!
For more on Box’s story with photos, please click here AND click here or read our summary below.
We first met adult female seal…
Beauty and plastic beasts
Despite challenging conditions, Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) volunteers have been out on two day long boat surveys covering 80+ miles of Cornwall’s north coast.
Our marine life and human impact surveys are gathering vital evidence of what is happening along our shores out of everyday sight.
Our volunteers are amazing…Read More
At the beginning of this year, we were excited to work on making some sealy activities. Primarily for use at the National Trust’s Lizard Watchpoint they will also be a great resource for our stalls and workshops.
Marion designed a few different games: Top trumps, ‘Memory’ and a ‘Seal Photo ID Challenge’ thanks to Alec and Enid…
Looe ID Hub
2018 will see the 10th anniversary of our systematic surveys that are done on Looe island! This was the very first team marine group survey that CSGRT undertook, making it a pioneer project for us thanks to generous funding from Postcode Local Trust supported by the People’s Postcode Lottery.
The project entirely led and run by…
On the 7th of March, Sue along with Dan Jarvis from British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) joined Colin Speedie (Wildlife Safe – WiSe – founder) to deliver a WiSe training course in Padstow.
Sue has been updating the WiSe seal code of conduct recently and was honoured to be invited to give a southwest…
Touring mini exhibition
On week 9 of our Seal Squad XP Roadshow a very important part of our Touring Mini Exhibition arrived: our ten big informative display banners in frames and our new leaflets!
Many thanks to Tom at Attic Design and Print (http://www.attic-design.co.uk/) for researching and sourcing such amazing frames for us. They are easy to put…
At the beginning of October 2017, Marion attended the ‘Community Science in the Natural World’ conference organised in Plymouth by the National Marine Aquarium and the Community Seagrass Initiative. Having learned about some really exciting new engagement tools she came back raring to use them. This was especially true for ‘slido’ (https://www.sli.do/) a tool for…Read More
RSPCA West Hatch
The second week of February was quite busy with talks! After two evening ones for different WI groups (Germoe District and Mylor) we had the pleasure of travelling up to the RSPCA Wildlife Hospital at West Hatch to deliver an afternoon talk to the team there. Arminel (Scott) did a fantastic job of organising this…Read More
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…Read More
Microplastics are here!
CSGRT volunteers were not surprised, but were still shocked by the findings of a recent paper by Sarah Nelms from our local University (the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus) on microplastics in seals. To cut a long story short, Sarah found half of her seals scat (poo) samples and a third of fish analysed contained…Read More
In April 2015 Rob Wells who routinely surveys the Roseland and St Austell Bay found the carcass of an adult male grey seal on the beach. This individual seal was recognised from photo identification as being Septimus White, a seal Rob had known for just over a year.
Septimus was retrieved after his decomposition had…
Amaze and Discover
Meet Marion our Amazement and Discovery Ranger who has been appointed to work on the Seal Squad XP Roadshow thanks to the exciting funding awarded to us by the Postcode Local Trust (supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery).
“My partner Rick and I moved to Cornwall in March 2016 to undertake 12 months…
Zillah’s diving seal panel
In the first week of 2018 we had an exciting visit from the lovely and very talented Zillah Robertson. She travelled all the way from south east Cornwall to us to bring an amazing piece of artwork that she had made specially for us!
The extraordinary panel featuring a diving seal is made entirely out…
Seal Squad XP Roadshow
This year Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust has received their biggest grant yet! The Postcode Local Trust awarded us a fantastic £19,300 to run our Seal Squad XP (Xplorer Programme) Roadshow in 2018. Thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, CSGRT will be able to have a dedicated Amazement and Discovery Ranger. We are currently…Read More
Cornwall is facing a seal pup rescue crisis. Partners CSGRT, British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR), the Cornish Seal Sanctuary (CSS) and RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Hospital are hearing about unprecedented numbers of underweight seal pups around the coast in need of rescue by BDMLR. With no spare capacity at CSS and RSPCA West Hatch, BDMLR…Read More
CSGRT global stage
As an evidence based conservation charity, CSGRT are keen to share research findings as widely as possible. Since the end of October, CSGRT has gone global reinforcing our key messages three times!
On 28/10/17 Elizabeth Hogan from World Animal Protection invited Sue Sayer to attend the Society of Marine Mammlology conference in Halifax Nova Scotia to…
Some days we create memories that last a lifetime. Today was one of those days.
It began with too little sleep and an early start…alarm at 4.30am and a drive to Padstow in the dark.
Joining our volunteer boat survey crew at dawn proved a turning point.
Award for CSGRT
The words of Cornwall Mammal Group…
The AGM at Ladock gave us a great opportunity to acknowledge one of Cornwall’s leading wildlife enthusiasts and to recognise the work she has done to help protect some of the most important international sites for the grey seal (Halichoerus grypus).
CMG has always tried to encourage an interest…
Box is alive!
Seriously wounded, a seal was slashed on her rear flippers by a boat propeller as she was hand fed in St Ives Harbour on 19/08/17. The adult female seal ‘Box desk’ (Box for short) was subsequently identified from witness statements and photographic evidence taken before, during and after the incident. Box had been encouraged to…Read More
We’re off – rescues 2017!
September has seen the sudden appearance of several beautiful white coated grey seals pups along our Cornish coastline. Along with the delight comes the inevitable concern, when one of these skinny little furry bundles appears without its mother.
This happened recently on a well known pupping site, so a member of the public did the…
Stop feeding seals!
“Horrifying and life changing” – that’s one person’s description of the day their St Ives boat trip went badly wrong. As an enjoyable angling trip came to a close and the boat returned to St Ives harbour, customers gave in to the begging eyes of two seals – ‘Box desk’ and ‘Clouds’ following their boat….Read More
Flipper gets lucky!
Last week Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust’s (CSGRT’s) Sue and Kate went out on one of their twice weekly surveys of the West Cornwall seal complex. Usually at this time of year, seals are hauled on the offshore island, but the rough seas and cooler temperatures have obviously confused the seals, leaving Sue and Kate…Read More
BBC Springwatch Seals
Springwatch have been planning trips to the beautiful Isles of Scilly since 2012 and this year’s final episode featured presenter Gillian Burke snorkelling with seals. Gillian contacted Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) prior to filming to ensure she followed and communicated best practice.
CSGRT advise that swimming with seals is ONLY done using a…
Thank you Patagonia!
On May 6th, Patagonia organised the European premiere screening of ‘FISHPEOPLE’ at the Lighthouse Cinema, Newquay. Fish People is an inspiring film directed by Keith Malloy about six people, whose lives have been transformed by the sea. To our delight, Patagonia offered this as a fundraiser for us at Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) – our…Read More
Polzeath Bags of Help!
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) are delighted to announce that our partner organisation Polzeath Marine Conservation Group (PMCG) has bagged £5000 from a Tesco funding scheme ‘Bags of Help’.
Tesco teamed up with Groundwork to launch its Bags of Help funding initiative, which sees grants of up to £5,000, £2,000 and £1,000 – all…
Partnering for safer seas
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) have spent the morning with their partners Fathoms Free at their official boat launch in Penzance conducting multiple interviews on the issue of lost fishing gear.
Chiara from World Animal Protection being interviewed by BBC Sue from CSGRT talking about the impacts of…Read More
POLPIP summary 2016
Polzeath Marine Conservation Group (PMCG) work closely with Sue Sayer of Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) and Newquay Sea Safaris to conduct marine life and coastal surveys for the Polzeath Photo ID Project (POLPIP). POLPIP is a hugely successful conservation project, leading to large amounts of data on mobile species and habitat use and has contributed…Read More
Our incredible supporters survey sites on their local patch throughout the year whatever the weather!
Rob Wells and Kath Wherry survey an important south coast seal site on the Roseland and their visit on 30th January began as always with a count and overview photo of the seals. There were a good number of seals…
Adrian Langdon went out in search of one thing and found another. The waxwing he had hoped for didn’t materialise and instead he found a seal with a difference! Prepared as ever, Adrian quickly snapped away only to realise that the seal he had been photographing didn’t really look like the seals he routinely sees…Read More
BNDs in the bay
What a great start to surveying in 2017!
There was absolutely NO swell, which might actually be a first for us!
Quite a way offshore we spotted some bottlenose dolphins. Not any bottlenose dolphins, but the inshore pod that move around the Cornish coast.
How do we know? We photo ID’d their fins of course…
A plea from Francesco
Sometimes the first time someone hears about the work of Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) is when they are gifted a seal adoption. This is true of Francesco, who adopted ‘Neil the seal’ in 2015. After renewing his adoption in 2016, Francesco was inspired by the Planet Earth II series to create a comic using…Read More
Christmas came early
Merry Christmas to all our supporters near and far!
The biggest thank you ever to all our amazing supporters and partner organisations for their huge seal related efforts throughout 2016.
For Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust, Christmas came early this year.
We had the best two early presents ever!
The first came just…
Respect and protect
Daily routine interruptions on the up! (This article is illustrated by referring back to a particular day in the summer.)
Unlike many humans, seals don’t have a permanent home where they carry out a daily routine and venture from all year round. Cornwall Seal Group Reasearch Trust’s (CSGRT’s) photo ID research seems to suggest that…
Ghost was one of the first ever seal mums that I identified back in 2003. In 2016 she remains a very special seal mum who is a Cornish record breaker! We are trying to establish if she is perhaps even a world record breaker!
I first saw S112 Ghost on a magical Bonfire Night in…
Cornwall Dorset link!
In 2014, Julie Hatcher from Dorset Wildlife Trust (DWT) contacted CSGRT about setting up a seal photo identification project on her patch. After a successful collaboration, two years down the line we have our first (and very exciting) seal photo ID link up – adult female ‘Molar’ aka ‘Gamboling lamb’!
Named after the distinctive black patterns…
Every feed counts
Grey seal pups are an amazing wildlife spectacle around the UK coastline at this time of year…as little baggy bundles and then big barrels of white fluffy fur with huge appealing eyes.
But they need our help. They are only fed milk by their mothers for three critical weeks that determine their survival prospects. Born at…
Pups on Newsround
The sad story of few day old pup ‘Snoozy’ at Portheras Cove (erroneously and repeatedly put back in the sea by those wishing to help it) captured peoples’ imagination. Despite the very best efforts of Friends of Portheras Cove, Snoozy disappeared after a few days leaving us all fearing the worst :O(
Determined that Snoozy’s story…
Give pups space
The first mainland pup rescue of the season took place just one day later than last year! Well done to British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) Coordinator Dave Jarvis and his team of Marine Mammal Medics for a highly successful rescue of a five day old white coated pup from Portreath. This seal pup is now…Read More
Ghost Gear Report
Ghost Gear Report 2015/16 by CSGRT funded by World Animal Protection
What is Ghost Gear?
Ghost gear is any discarded, lost, or abandoned fishing gear in the marine environment. It is one of the biggest threats to our sea life. Ghost fishing gear affects a range of marine life in Cornwall, including grey seals a species…
Admire from a distance
In Cornwall, we are hugely lucky to have a globally rare seal species around our coast. There are fewer grey seals in the World than African elephants.
Grey seals are our most reliably sighted marine mammal. Unlike all other mobile marine megafauna species, seals appear in predictable locations at predictable times, so they underpin the marine tourism economy….
Boat survey highlights
Our 22nd systematic boat survey from St Agnes to Trevose (STAPIP) was heavily oversubscribed yesterday! With light winds, calm seas and sunny spells forecast we were all set to have a great day.
As usual we recorded everything….marine life and human activity (outside of built up areas) and all our surveyors were kept rather busy.
Thanks to everyone who shared our post yesterday about the young female seal who was badly entangled in lost or storm damaged trawl net.
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) received a call (via the RSPCA) last night to say that a seal matching the nettie’s description was hauled out on the mainland beach at…
Please keep a look out!
Little did we know when we left home at 5.30 this morning for a routine seal monitoring session, that our day would be hijacked by a young female seal.
Seal surveys are governed by the tides and in the summer this means surveying as close to low tide as possible whilst still leaving enough hours in the…
CSGRT feature in BBC Wildlife magazine
In 2015, CSGRT hosted visits from freelance writer Amy-Jane Beer and photographer Nick Upton who were researching an article on grey seals for the BBC Wildlife magazine. Amy interviewed Sue Sayer in May at CSGRT HQ whilst Nick joined both Sue and Kate Hockley on a routine land based survey in June and then participated in…Read More
One of the highlights in the SW marine conservation calendar year is the SW Marine Ecosystem Conference held at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory.
This event aims to promote networking across relevant organisations, summarise the previous year’s marine events and explore emerging research to inform the management of our precious SW marine ecosystems.
Organised by Bob Earll, this year’s…
Newsflash: Uno is dos! Tres!
The first pup (Uno) to be rescued during the 2015/16 season turned out to be number two (dos) in the 2016 rehabilitated seal resightings list!
Seen today on the West Cornwall haul out from which she had been rescued, Uno looked fit and well.
Ironically Kerplunk, the second seal to be rescued during the 2015/16 season…Read More
Bottlenose dolphin ID
During a ferry trip returning from a conference in France, a chance conversation between Sue Sayer of CSGRT and Dr Matthew Witt from the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus highlighted that Matt had got a top quality set of photos of potentially most of the inshore bottlenose dolphin (BND) pod when they visited the Fal…Read More
Assault on ghost gear!
Cornwall College’s Charity Spring Fair was held at their Newquay Campus today! Students Catherine, Emily, Jade, Joe and Kaitlin had organised fundraising action in aid of CSGRT!
Top highlight was an assault course with a difference! Designed to show everyone what it might be like to be a seal negotiating its way around ghost gear…
Marine life and people!
It’s a well known fact that Cornwall’s marine life is truly spectacular and an important asset to Cornwall’s economy! Less well known are the teams of incredible volunteers who are prepared to go out in all weathers, all year round to check up on these amazing creatures.
Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) routinely…Read More
CSGRT attend SMM2015
Research findings about grey seals in south west England found a wider audience at the Society of Marine Mammology Conference (SMM2015) at the Hilton, Union Square, San Francisco thanks to funding from World Animal Protection and Cornwall College Newquay. The purpose of Sue and Bex’s trip was to share our research on grey seal entanglement…Read More
Podcasts and seals
(written by Rebecca Hollely who has kindly given her permission for us to publish her blog post on our website.)
Last year, University of Exeter Centre for Ecology and Conservation MSc. students set up a really cool group called The Natural Selection, where they interviewed university bioscience researchers about their recent work and made it…
On Wednesday the 3rd of November I got a call from BDMLR who in turn had been contacted by Sue from Cornwall Seal Group (CSG) as CSG volunteers, Alec, Enid and Terry, on the Lizard were concerned about a little pup on one of the coves on the west side of the peninsular….Read More
Busy giving seals a voice!
Since successfully introducing George Eustice (the DEFRA Minister for farming, food and the marine environment) to his local seals at the end of the last month, we have had a particularly busy time representing seals in our human world!
Sue, George and Kate meet the seals (including flipper tagged Beast – an ex…Read More
Brush aka Hufflepuff
Six years ago on 21/10/09 I got a call from British Divers Marine Life Rescue’s (BDMLR) Cornwall co-ordinator and charity director Dave Jarvis telling me there was a pup in trouble in the sea at Gwithian. It seems such a long time ago and yet I remember it like yesterday as it was rather an…Read More
Uno was the first grey seal pup to be rescued of the 2015/16 season in Cornwall mainland.
On 3rd September 2015, Sue and Kate from Cornwall Seal Group (CSG) were concerned about a one day old female seal pup with a white coat and a pink umbilicus during a routine monitoring session. They were alerted by the pup’s…
It always pays to expect the unexpected. At the back of the haul out on the other side of the beach from us we noticed a small seal that looked a bit different. Looking through the binoculars in a howling gale isn’t easy and despite discussing the possibility of it being a common seal, we…Read More
Oil and seals don’t mix!
Phew! After a survey where no seals were spotted it is good to arrive at the mainland haul out, peer over the cliff and find they have returned! Just three days later the haul out had returned to normal and I was happy! After the initial count and age/sex data collection, I began taking photos…Read More
Like the rest of the Cornish coast, the mainland haul out beach hasn’t come through the recent storms unscathed. A large quantity of sand has been ripped off the beach revealing lines of boulders under the cliff and somewhat surprisingly a rocky wave cut platform. Whilst it is hard to judge scale from distance, it…Read More
Good news at last!
After the loss of our last pup on the mainland haul out at the start of the year, it was a relief to get some good news about pups in Cornwall! This came in the form of a release of rehabilitated seals by the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. The seas have been wild, but Thursday’s forecast…Read More