Norfolk Seal Campaigner
2078. Jenny Hobson
Jenny Hobson, from King’s Lynn, is a seal campaigner who has been raising awareness of the harm plastic flying rings can cause to seals.
After seeing multiple seals wounded and even dying from plastic rings four years ago, Jenny was inspired to take action and partnered up with ‘Friends of Horsey Seals’. Following this, she has been connecting with other seal groups across the UK to combine awareness raising efforts.
Thanks to Jenny’s campaign, she has encouraged shops and local businesses across Norfolk to stop selling plastic rings near beaches, and one local council to ban plastic rings from their beaches and has also provided information leaflets and posters to local tourist information centres. Jenny also gives local talks about her campaign and, last year, completed a six-month round-Britain yachting adventure to take her campaign nationwide.
In a personal letter to Jenny, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:
“It is brilliant how you have taken an awareness-raising campaign right round the UK to highlight the impact of plastic toys on our wildlife.
“Thanks to you, shops and local businesses across Norfolk have stopped selling plastic rings. And you have encouraged your local councils to become the first in the country to ban the use of flying rings from their beaches in order to protect seals.”
“I was completely taken by surprise and delighted to be given a Point of Light Award for my campaign work on behalf of the seals. My deepest thanks go to all the people who support the campaign, to ‘RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre’ for the amazing work they do and to all at FoHS especially Peter Ansell, Albert Ward, Hilda Stephenson, Richard Edwards and Nikki Grimes who give their time and passion to the campaign.
“It is heartening that so many more people are aware of the mortal danger plastic flying rings can pose to these beautiful animals when they are lost or discarded on the beach. The fact that the message has been heard by Councillors, MPs and now the Prime Minister gives hope that more action can be taken to ensure no more plastic flying rings end up on the beach and in the sea where they can harm the seals.
“We are fortunate to have 40% of the world’s Grey seal population around our UK shores and we should do everything in our power to prevent unnecessary harm to these wonderful animals.”
See more about ‘Friends of Horsey Seals’