European eels face more than double the number of barriers as had previously been recorded when travelling along the River Mole and its tributary rivers, a pilot conservation project has found.
Volunteers trained by the South East Rivers Trust (SERT) as part of the Thames Catchment Community Eels Project found 119 impediments – such as weirs, sluices and culverts – 66 of which were new to existing data.
The South East Rivers Trust has been working with Sutton Council to deliver a SuDS in Schools project in Carshalton. Delivering a sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) project has been a new and valuable experience for the Trust.
While works are being planned to restore the Emm Brook in Riverside Park, Wokingham, the South East Rivers Trust has begun engaging the community through an interschool competition.
Primary schools in the area were all invited to take part in the School River Challenge. Schools competed to get the most pupils to become certified Junior River Rangers. The prize? A class set of river dipping equipment.
The competition was run over the June half term. It was launched in each school with an assembly – delivered virtually over Zoom – in the week beginning 17th May. Many teachers took the week before half term to undertake some of the Junior River Ranger activities as a class. Children were then encouraged to complete the remaining activities with family and friends. In the course of the competition, we received more than 300 hits on our Junior River Ranger webpage!
We’re eel-y excited to announce that Thames Rivers Trust in partnership with the South East Rivers Trust, Action for the River Kennet, and Thames21, have been successful in gaining funding to aid the long-term survival of the European eel.
Eels have a spectacular and complex life cycle! European eels spend most of their lives living in Europe’s rivers, including here in the UK. When they are ready to spawn they migrate more than 6,000km across the Atlantic to the Sargasso Sea, where their lifecycle begins again.
Once hatched, the larvae make the incredible journey back across the ocean to our rivers, and develop into young eels, also known as elvers, before swimming upstream.