Stories from the Shoreline: The Life of a Seal Rescuer

woman on beach

Meet Eden Willmott. Her mission is both noble and challenging: to rescue and rehabilitate seals, the ocean’s gentle souls, who find themselves in peril. Eden’s journey into the world of marine conservation is a story of passion and profound compassion for the ocean's vulnerable inhabitants.

The Call of the Ocean

Eden's love affair with the sea began in childhood. Growing up near the coast, she spent countless hours exploring along the shore and watching marine life.

After leaving school at 17, Eden arranged several internships that introduced her to the world of seal rehabilitation. She instantly fell in love with the work and knew it was her true calling. She went on to gain a degree in Zoology to pursue this as a career, where she’s currently working at Skegness Natureland Seal Sanctuary, UK, running the seal hospital. Now, she shares her journey and insights with an audience of over 290k on social media, educating and raising awareness about the plight of these beautiful marine mammals.

Entangled in Danger

If you've kept up to date with our latest campaign, you'll know that Ghost nets are abandoned or lost fishing nets, and pose a significant threat to marine life and coastal ecosystems. They continue to trap and entangle marine animals while drifting with ocean currents, wreaking havoc on delicate underwater habitats. 

Eden explains that discarded fishing gear and marine debris that litters the sea is the most common cause of injury or death to the seals she rescues along the coast. Around 300,000 marine animals die every year from entanglement alone. Unfortunately, we have witnessed firsthand the devastating impact of discarded nets on marine life during our beach cleans and net hauls, finding seals trapped. This emphasises the critical importance of Eden's work and serves as a stark reminder that we all share the responsibility of campaigning for a cleaner environment.

Leave them alone!

Most of us are fascinated with marine wildlife, but it's important to respect their space and watch with admiration from afar. Eden shares that seal pups are commonly abandoned by their mothers after being disturbed or scared off by humans and pets. It’s critical for pups to stay with their mothers for the first 4-6weeks of their life to drink her 50% fat milk which enables them to gain around 2kg in weight everyday.

It's quite normal to see seals alone on the shore. These solitary moments are a natural part of their life cycle, allowing them to conserve energy and stay safe from predators. While it might be tempting to approach or try to help, it's important to remember that these seals are usually healthy and simply taking a necessary break. Observing them from a distance ensures they can rest without disturbance, and if there's any concern about their well-being, contacting a local wildlife rescue organisation, like Natureland Seal Sanctuary or British Divers Marine Life Rescue, is the best course of action.

Eden's Top Tips for Protecting & Restoring the Ocean:

Reducing single-use plastics, and keeping your local beaches litter free is a great place to start.

Reducing your consumption of fish is a really powerful way to protect marine mammals. The significant demand drives overfishing.

If you see a seal on the beach, keep 100m away and make sure to leash your dog. Call a local sanctuary who can assess to see if it needs medical attention. Providing the team with your “what 3 words” location is invaluable at helping them find the seal as quickly as possible.

Each Release is a Celebration

Eden’s work is not without its emotional and physical tolls. The sight of a seal in pain is heart-wrenching, and the task of rescuing and rehabilitating them can be exhausting. Yet, the triumphs far outweigh the challenges. Each successful release back into the wild is a testament to the resilience of these incredible creatures and the unwavering dedication of Eden and other rescuers.

Find Out More

Follow Eden's journey, and learn more about the incredible mammals she works with below. And to help clean up the coastline for seals in the North East of Scotland, join us on a monthly beach clean

woman on shore
woman on beach
net and bag

Come and join us!

Join us every Saturday at 10am at the Fittie end of Aberdeen beach for invigorating dips in the sea. The refreshing waters will not only revitalize your body but also uplift your spirits, offering a perfect blend of mental clarity and physical well-being.

For updates on volunteering at beach cleans, joining adventure days, and other upcoming events please see our social media pages.

The ultimate guide to unlocking the full potential of one of nature's most powerful resources. 

Cold water has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to promote health, vitality, and well-being, and its benefits are backed by science. 

Whether you're a seasoned cold water enthusiast or just starting out, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need to harness the power of cold water and take your health and wellness to the next level. 

Book Cover


Leave a comment