Skegness Natureland

What we do

Skegness Natureland is primarily a seal rescue centre, dedicated to rescuing baby seals, rehabilitating them, and releasing them back into the wild! The two main pupping seasons (Summer months for Harbour Seals, Winter months for Grey Seals) are our busiest times for rescuing baby seals. Each year, Natureland rescued between 60 and 70 pups from the Lincolnshire coastline, due to them being separated from their mothers before being successfully weaned, or because they have become unwell or injured. These pups are brought back to Natureland, where they are admitted to our Seal Hospital and cared for by our dedicated team.
One of the primary goals in The Seal Hospital is to teach the pups how to eat fish by themselves. Often the pups are too young to have eaten fish before, or are too unwell to try and eat. At this stage, an initial tube-feed is given to provide the pups with much needed rehydration solution and nutrients, followed by assisted feeding to ensure they are not losing weight. Often the pups come to us in very poor health and can be emaciated and dehydrated, so assisted feeding (sometimes known as force feeding or gag feeding) is critical to maintaining and improving body condition, and at this stage medication for any illnesses is provided. Baby seals in The Seal Hospital are fed 5 times per day, and within a few days of them arriving to the site, they tend to pick up hand feeding voluntarily, and eventually feeding themselves from the bowls in their pen.

Once the pups are well enough and eating fish by themselves, they are transferred to The Seal Hospital Pool. This crucial step in their rehabilitation allows them to experience eating from the water, diving below the surface to find fish, and boost their confidence for life in the sea. They will spend at least 2 weeks in this area, developing their skills and gaining weight, before being transferred to The Rearing Pool.

The Rearing Pool is the last stage of the rehabilitation process at Natureland, and the primary focus of this stage is to help the pups gain weight. As well as needing to be healthy and skilled hunters, the pups that are rescued need to be a suitable weight for releasing. It may take the pups a little while to adjust to life back in the wild, so we ensure they have full bellies and plenty of fat on their bodies (known as blubber), to keep them warm during cold spells. The Rearing Pool is also an ideal place for pups to face some healthy competition when being fed, as other pups will be keen to eat any fish offered! Once these seals are above 30kg in weight, they are given a final health check before being taken over to the beach behind Natureland. This is where the team say their final goodbyes, and release the pups back into the wild, giving them a second chance in their natural habitat!

Since opening in 1965, Natureland has dealt with, and returned to the wild whenever possible, many unusual animal visitors including dolphins and whales, a “lost” walrus and pelican, plus numerous oiled seabirds and injured birds of prey!

As a Seal Sanctuary we rely on your support. Every visit, every donation and every time you ACT FOR WILDLIFE makes a huge difference. Thank you!


Which animals live at Skegness Natureland

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