Meet the Cornish Seal Sanctuary Team

Monday, 27 May 2024

Meet Sean, our Conservation and Property Manager here at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary.

Sean is an expert at getting stuff done, his varied role can go from organising site teams and ordering materials one minute, to relocating beaver kits and releasing seal pups the next!

We managed to pin him down for a five-minute chat to find out more…


"Hi, I’m Sean. I grew up as a free-range child, running off to explore my local woods and surrounding countryside of Cambridgeshire.

I started my working life in farming, eventually working my way into traditional estate management. My favourite aspect of my jobs through the years has been habitat restoration. I really love seeing the impact of my work benefit the wildlife I love.

In my spare time I will be out exploring Cornwall, either laying on the floor looking at fungi or I will be out in the water spearfishing.

I have now worked at the Cornish seal sanctuary for just over a year and I can’t get enough of it. Day to day my role involves managing workloads of the site team and ordering materials to make the improvements and repairs of our busy site. But being the team we are, I can find myself changing lightbulbs one moment to assisting with an emergency veterinary operation the next.


What does a typical day in your role look like?

A typical day for me starts with me catching up with the team and organising our priorities for the day. Depending on what is happening, I will try get the boring computer work done first so I can get out and do something practical.

One job I really enjoy is doing our enclosure checks down at the beaver enclosure. It’s exciting to find what they have been up to and see first-hand the impacts they are having on the environment and seeing all the other species that are now calling it home.

I was very excited when I saw a pond dipper hunting in the stream recently.

What do you love most about your job?

A very hard question, but my favourite moment must be the pup releases. It’s such a great sight to see everybody’s hard work culminate in seeing the pups swim off back into the wild.

What are the conservation plans for the Sanctuary this year?

We have lots planned, biggest task this year is establishing our wildflower meadow. The seal sanctuary sits in a key biodiversity stronghold on the Helford. I really want to showcase how special this habitat can be. We are working in partnership with the “wildflower collective” to create a long-term plan to eventually become a seedbank to help establish other sites across Cornwall.

We are also establishing new hedges to create nature corridors, long term this will provide a range of benefits to the wildlife here by providing food and shelter for a host of species."