About Us

Tortoise South East was set up in 1989 to help tortoise keepers in the UK to improve the health and welfare of the tortoises in their care. We provide information on our web site, through newsletters, meetings, workshops, telephone and Facebook.

Our aim is to educate tortoise owners so that tortoises in captivity in Britain have the best quality of life it is possible for us to provide. We want to ensure that tortoises receive the best care and stay in good health for all of their long lives.

The work that we do at Tortoise South East involves providing advice but we also care for sick and recuperating tortoises. We work with local vets to support owners and their tortoises while they recover from illness. We provide a holiday-homing service for owners and we hibernate tortoises for people who are new to tortoise keeping or too worried to hibernate for themselves

Jane, Sian and Debbie set up this group more than 25 years ago when there were no other support groups. Now there are many organisations helping in this work, and we are happy to work as part of the UK community of tortoise welfare groups. We are also part of increasingly international efforts to try to conserve and protect these fascinating and endangered reptiles. Jane completed her M.Sc. at the University of Southampton in 2012 having researched 'The Welfare Needs of Captive Mediterranean Tortoises in the UK'. This research had not been done before and provided a unique insight into the lives of captive tortoises in Britain. The findings have helped us improve the work that we do in educating people to care for their tortoises well.

Tortoises have been on earth since before the dinosaurs . They were doing fine for 200 million years – now they have a hugely increasing human population to contend with. They are exploited across the world for food, medicines, as artefacts and as pets. They need our help.

Tortoises have long been important pets for people in the UK. British people have strong bond with tortoises through our recent history and culture – we want to help people do their very best to ensure their pets are healthy and well.