Cornwall LivingIssue #142

A star visitor

During a visit to Cornwall in September, Judi Dench meets ‘Judi Dench’ at the Cornish Seal Sanctuary!

grey seal pup dubbed ‘Judi Dench’ has managed to meet her namesake on the very same day she was taken in by the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. Dame Judi Dench, one of the country’s most beloved cinematic jewels, was visiting the area in September with her family when she stopped by the sanctuary in Gweek, near Helston.

At the time, the charity (which rescues up to 70 seal pups from around Cornwall each winter) also took in a new pup. The three-week-old pup was admitted to the site’s hospital, after being found dehydrated with several wounds on Millook Haven Beach.

“It was like fate,” says the Sanctuary’s Fundraising Manager, Leanne Attwood. “With our actors and actresses naming theme this season, we knew we just had to name her after Judi Dench, who was already on our list of name ideas. Judi was an absolute delight and so gracious about the naming. She was so excited to be able to meet pup Judi and explore behind-the-scenes of our Seal Hospital.”

Today, Judi the pup is well on her way to a successful release back to the wild, but it’s only with your help that the Sanctuary can continue this vital work. On average, it costs the charity £2,000 to rescue, rehabilitate and release a pup, including everything from equipment to vet’s bills and food supplies.

Funds from every visit to the Sanctuary go towards this conservation work, ensuring our Cornish grey seal population remains strong and healthy, but if you can’t make it in person, you can donate via

What to do if you find a seal pup on the beach:

If you see a seal pup on the beach, beachgoers are advised to keep dogs on leads and children away, and not to approach or chase the seal back into the sea. If you believe a pup is in trouble, call the Sanctuary directly on 01326 221361 or British Divers Marine Life Rescue on 01825 765546.

Gweek, nr Helston TR12 6UG