HomeThames Catchment Community Eels Project

We are thrilled to be leading the Thames Catchment Community Eels Project. It is one of the first environmental projects awarded a grant from the government’s £80 million Green Recovery Challenge Fund

The project is a partnership, led by Thames Rivers Trust in partnership with fellow Rivers Trusts Action for the River Kennet, South East Rivers Trust and Thames21, the project is driven to aid the long-term survival of the European eel.

The rivers in the Thames catchment have an immense natural and cultural heritage. The eel was once common, yet is now critically endangered.

Together the partnership is working closely with the Zoological Society of London and Thames Estuary Partnership and is developing and trialling a nationally recognised and standardised methodology for citizen science eel barrier walkover survey training, that will enable trained volunteers to help assess and map robust data of where there are barriers to eel migration; and this will allow strategic prioritisation for future eel projects.

To find out more read Thames Estuary Partnership’s Blog What is r-eely going on?

Listen to Talk of the Thames Podcast What is r-eely going on? Thames Catchment Community Project

Read Natural Apptitude’s December Blog, it’s all about ObstacEELS OurApp is Making a Splash in the Thames!

For eels to fulfil their complex life cycle they need to be able to freely move up and down river systems before returning to the Sargasso Sea to spawn.

Our aim is to raise the profile of this critically endangered fish through education and engagement with local schools and communities.

There are a range of ways to get involved:

  • Train to be part of our citizen science Eel Force to take part in organised barrier walkover surveys.

  • Schools can receive free, fun, educational and hands on eel workshops and assemblies.

  • Guided Riverbank Walks. Learn lots about the amazing European eel and other wildlife living in and by your river. These are running both as community walks for all or can be arranged for community groups, clubs or organisations.

  • Eel Talks, our project partners can deliver a talk in person or via Zoom. Discover the European eel, its life cycle, the challenges the species face and what we are doing to improve its future.

  • Train to monitor eels making their journey upstream in the Mole Catchment.

We are delivering this project between December 2020 and March 2022.

Did you know?

Interesting facts about the European eel, how it has become critically endangered and the Thames River Basin....



ObstacEELS is a new citizen science initiative, led by ZSL and has been collaboratively developed with four Rivers Trusts and Thames Estuary Partnership...

If you would like further information on Thames Catchment Community Eels Project, please contact us

Working together in partnership

Thames Rivers Trust
Action For The River Kennet
South East Rivers Trust
Thames 21
Thames Estuary Partnership
Green Recovery Fund Project
The Thames Catchment Community Eels Project is funded by the government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund. The fund is being delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with the Environment Agency and Natural England.

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