Thames Seal Watch

by Thames Seal Watch in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Thames Seal Watch

Total raised £145

raised so far



Thames Seal Watch (TSW) is a London-based organisation dedicated to fostering community education, awareness, and protection of Thames seals

by Thames Seal Watch in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Did you know there are over 3,600 seals living in the Thames and London sightings are increasing?

Thames Seal Watch (TSW) is a London-based organisation dedicated to fostering community education, awareness, and protection of Thames seals. Seal Watch was born following the dog attack of local seal Freddie in 2021 with the aim to prevent future incidents and increase community education. This important task comes at a time when London seal sightings are on the rise and the launch of the Thames Tideway, which aims to halt sewage dumps and improve the livability of the river, is months away.

What we have done:


Parliamentary Bill: Following Freddie's death, we brought the Seal Protection Bill to Parliament alongside MP Tracey Crouch CBE and held a Parliamentary debate in 2023 with Richmond Park MP Sarah Olney to increase legislative protection for seals. Shortly after government launched its first Marine Wildlife Code. Efforts to make an official amendment to the Wildlife and Countryside Act are still underway. 


Signs: In alliance with the new Marine Wildlife Code, TSW alongside our national group Seal Alliance, installed seal safety signs along the river in hopes to minimise disturbance to protect both seals and the public from future incidents. These signs were approved by the local council, funded by DEFRA and can be found all over the UK where seals are located. 


Seal Ambassador Club: To further educate the community about our marine neighbours, we conduct engaging seal talks at a variety of riverside clubs. Following our seal talk at Fulham Reach Boat Club, children rowers were able to participate in decorating a life-sized seal sculpture created by beach plastic artist Emily Barker. The realistic seal outline is made of chicken wire and decorated by the children using recycled materials commonly found in riverside clean ups. The seal, who was cleverly named Artie, will be showcased in a community art exhibit to help spread that knowledge with the general public. These talks are being conducted with multiple riverside clubs up and down the river. Each listener becomes a Seal Ambassador, where their new found knowledge can help save seals across the UK and each participating club received a seal safety kit(crate, towels, gloves, masks), which will help medics conduct faster seal rescues. 

Magazine: Our first digital magazine was launched in May, which included an exclusive interview with Thames Tideway CEO Andy Mitchell CBE, details about recent Thames dolphin events, seal sightings photos and more. 

Future Project:

Mobile Signs: Mobile signs will ensure public safety during seal monitoring and rescue operations. Unlike our permanent signs, these can be moved to an area where a seal welfare check is being conducted. This will; prevent multiple calls to agengies by the public and prevent incident to the seal, the public and their pets by asking the public to keep away and put dogs on lead.

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