Conservationists are hoping for a bumper Winter season after humpback whales were filmed breaching off the coast of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

However Cornwall Wildlife Trust has warned members of the public to behave responsibly and admire wildlife from a distance after vessels were seen getting too close to the whales.

An adult and juvenile humpback whale were seen off the Lizard peninsula on Tuesday (November 29) as excited passers-by captured their breaching behaviour on camera.

The marine mammal was also spotted in Mounts Bay by NCI Penzance on Thursday (December 1), as well as between Land’s End and St Mary’s.

On this occasion, a group of five individuals were seen by private pilots flying between the mainland and Isles of Scilly.

Abby Crosby, marine conservation officer for Cornwall Wildlife Trust, said: “We were incredibly excited to hear the news, especially when it turned out to be an adult and juvenile spotted together!

"Only in the last few years have humpback whale sightings been on the rise. Before then, it would’ve been extremely rare to spot one around the UK.

“People often don’t realise how incredible our seas are, even in the winter months. It’s magnificent to see these amazing creatures up close. But as always, we’d like to encourage people to put wildlife first, be respectful and keep their distance.”

“It’s clear that our oceans are under immense pressure from development, pollution, fishing, climate change and recreation. All these issues are having a huge impact on our marine life, including those at the top of the chain such as our whales. That’s why encounters with these amazing animals must be on their terms and not ours.”

Strong numbers of humpback whales have been spotted around the UK in previous years. Until recently, sightings were extremely rare, but more than 75 sightings have been recorded by Cornwall Wildlife Trust since 2019.

The marine mammals are most often seen between the months of December and March around the county’s coastline, according to data from the Environmental Records Centre for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (ERCCIS), hosted by Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

George Deacon, a zoology student from Cornwall, was one of a lucky few to photograph the humpback whales seen around The Lizard. He said: “I’d been watching gannets diving and was heading back to the car when I saw a splash that was way bigger than that of a gannet. The juvenile humpback was constantly breaching and pectoral fin slapping for the best part of two hours!”

Cornwall Wildlife Trust is encouraging members of the public to record marine wildlife sightings with them via its ORKS app or online at