Natureland Holds Sunday Funday to celebrate 50th Anniversary!

Brad Greg letting Seals out on Skegness beachCaption: Brad Greg letting Seals out on Skegness beach

Natureland Seal Sanctuary in Skegness is celebrating it’s 50th year of being open to public this year and to celebrate are having a Funday on the 28th of June 2015.

They would like everyone to come and join in the fun to raise money to help rescue and rehabilitate the recued baby seals. On the day there will be a variety of entertainment for children and adults including a magic and puppet show as well as making balloon animals by Mr Paul (childrens entertainer).

There will be a chance to meet some of our animals such as the rabbits, guineapigs and bearded dragons. There will also be face painting, pottery painting and a childrens quiz where anyone who enters will be entered into a price draw! Natureland has asked some friends to join them on the day such as Gibraltar Point, Anglian Water, Skegness Eco Centre, a local lady who is an expert in the art of spinning sheep and alpaca wool and local teenager Hannah Willis who is running a tombola to raise money for our baby seals.

What began 50 years ago as a simple hobby and commercial venture soon turned into a generational labour of love for animals, conservation, education and entertainment for those who have been the driving force of Skegness Natureland during the last 50 years. Back in 1965 Mr John Yeadon turned his hobby of keeping tropical fish into his career by becoming head aquarist at Natureland which was opened by Princess Margaret later that year. At the time Natureland was not much more than the aquarium, floral palace, tropical house and a small shed like gift shop and was run by a Manchester investment company and the local council. After the first year of being open the investment company pulled out and it John and the staff to take natureland forward.

The seal rescue work began by accident, Natureland had only been open a short while when an orphaned baby seal arrived at the entrance under someones arm and they asked “can you do anything with this?” Natureland gathered all the information they could about seal rearing, which at the time was extremely limited, so it was up to the expertise and dedication of the staff to help to return them to full health. It was a case of trial and error, initially with some disheartening results and moderate success. In the end Natureland’s own method had better success rates than anyone elses and John was asked to write a paper for the international zoo yearbook and their method is now used around the world. Shortly after this success the seal hospital was born and has since turned Natureland into the success that it is today. Between 30 and 50 baby seals are rescued along the Lincolnshire coastline every year, over 700 have been successfully rehabilitated back into the sea.

Today, Natureland is run by Duncan Yeadon and Richard Yeadon (John’s sons) who are continuing and expanding this excellent work. Natureland always has and still does provide great interest for visitors alongside its continued work to help and shelter an every growing variety of animals.

Duncan Yeadon said:

A day out at Natureland will allow you to experience a range of animals with our different exhibits such as the aquarium which houses unusual species such as seahorses and clownfish; the Floral Palace home to tropical birds, butterflies and beautiful plants and the Tropical House where insects and reptiles such as tarantulas and crocodiles are kept. Children can enjoy feeding the animals in Pets corner which include the sheep, goats, rabbits and guineapigs as well as the koi carp. The quirks and antics of the meerkats will amuse any onlooker. The penguins are always a big hit and are loved by our visitors just as much as our seals. The newest members to the Natureland family are our Alpacas Lucky, Apollo and Endevour and are proving to be very popular.

Natureland is a family run attraction and doesn’t get any outside funding from the council, the lottery or of any other kind. It relies on it’s visitors and very generous donations from the public using it’s Friends of the Seal Hospital Scheme. And it’s these donations that have kept them growing through the years. So they are holding this Fun Day to thank it’s visitors and to also raise a little money for the rescued baby seals.

Natureland is looking forward to seeing you all on the 28th of June 2015 from 10.00am to join in with their 50th anniversary celebrations! Please add them on Facebook and instagram or visit the website www.skegnessnatureland.co.uk to see updates on the funday as well as the animals, or if you have any questions please contact them by email at info@skegnessnatureland.co.uk or telephone on 01754764345.

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