Thames 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 will be 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.

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.

The project has a variety of ways for the public to get involved, including:

Volunteering opportunities

Train to be part of the citizen science monitoring of young eels, known as elvers as they migrate up the River Mole.

Train to be part of a citizen science Eel Force to take part in barrier walkover surveys on the Rivers Mole, Ravensbourne, Upper Brent, Middle and lower Kennet and Pang.

Schools and wider community outreach

Innovative school Eel Workshops and assemblies.

Local community Eel Riverbank Walks/Talks and Workshops.

Wherever possible the project will be getting people outdoors and connecting with nature, in or by their local rivers (where eels spend the majority of their lives).

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

If you would like further information on this project, email: info@thamesriverstrust.org.uk

The Green Recovery Challenge Fund is funded by Defra and is being delivered by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Natural England and the Environment Agency.

 

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