Young seals splashed their way to their new homes after being released at Combe Martin beach this afternoon (Wednesday). The four juvenile grey seals aged between three and four months were returned to the wild by staff and volunteers from RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre. The seals have been recovering at the centre near Taunton after being either abandoned by their mothers or found injured and too young to survive on their own. Wildlife assistant Jo Schmidt said this winter the centre had taken in 50 seals, a record number. Last year we were expecting a lot but the winter was quite kind, but we have had a lot of storms and gales this year, she said. Of releasing the animals, she said: This is the absolute icing on the cake bringing them to the sea and watching them go, knowing the hard work you put into them has actually got them back into the wild. Two of the seals had been found in Wales and another two in Cornwall. Jo said it was not uncommon for seals to cross the channel to Wales or make their way down the North Devon coast to Cornish shores. Another four West Hatch seals have been fostered at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park and are expected to be released very soon. * Anyone who spots a tagged seal and can safely read the number without disturbing the animal is asked to contact West Hatch via 0300 123 0721.