Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary still recovering from flooding

The Sealife Centre in Hunstanton is still closed after the floods in early December. Picture: Matthe

The Sealife Centre in Hunstanton is still closed after the floods in early December. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

It is still not known how long it will take for one of West Norfolk's popular tourist attractions to recover from December's tidal surge.

Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary suffered severe damage during the floods and has been closed ever since.

Flood water poured into the building, polluting the fish tanks and forcing the power to be cut.

The sanctuary's inhabitants had to be taken elsewhere, many to the Great Yarmouth Sea Life Sanctuary, and, while the evacuees have settled in at their new home, it may be some time before they can return to more familiar surroundings.

Sanctuary manager Nigel Croasdale said: 'I don't know when we will be open again.

'At the moment we are waiting for a number of experts to advise us. By the second half of January we should have all the reports and we will have a much better idea.

'It is very frustrating but it is what it is.'

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While some of the experts have already visited the site, others will be visiting over the coming weeks.

The next step will be to begin the drying-out process for the building and making sure fish tanks are structurally sound.

Mr Croasdale said: 'Our season really kicks off at Easter and it would be lovely to open again for Easter.

'I couldn't say at the moment if we will be open or not.

'We don't want to cut any corners just so that we can open a little bit earlier – it wouldn't be the right thing to do.

'We want to get the right workmen in, the right contractors, so that we can make the sanctuary the fantastic attraction it has always been.'

Before the floods the sanctuary was home to a number of weird and wonderful creatures including three dwarf caiman crocodiles, six Humboldt penguins and a green sea turtle called Ernie.