South East Rivers Trust (& the Wandle Trust)

Thames Catchment Community Eels Project is a partnership, led by Thames Rivers Trust, with Action for the River Kennet, South East Rivers Trust and Thames21.  We are working together to aid the long-term survival of the European eel.  Through new citizen science monitoring, we will be collecting and analysing robust data, which can then be used to make strategic decisions for future eel recovery projects. 

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

Education Sessions

The South East Rivers Trust is offering a limited number of free assemblies and lessons as part of The Thames Catchment Community Eels Project. We will be bringing the European eel and the local river to classrooms in the River Mole area.

We are now taking bookings for the summer term. Sessions are linked to ‘Living things and their habitats’ and provide a valuable contribution to a range of topics such as Rivers or Climate Change. 

It’s fun and it’s free!

For more information click here.

Or contact our Education Officer: 

charlene@southeastriverstrust.org
tel. 07767 027 312


Obstacles in rivers are major factors contributing to the dramatic decline of the European Eel but there are huge gaps in our knowledge of where they are and how they impact eel migration.

We need you to become an ObstacEELS surveyor and join SERT in helping to map obstacles to eel migration across the Mole Catchment. The data you collect will enable a strategic approach to future eel projects along the Mole which will improve the river for this critically endangered species.

Online Training – We’ll be running through everything you need to know to become an ObstacEELS surveyor and getting you all set up on the reporting app. No prior experience necessary.
Date: 01/07/2021
Time: 6-8pm
We’ll send out the link to join the online training 48 hours before the event.

Practical Training Sessions – A chance to put your new found skills to good use along the River Mole and its tributaries. We’ll be working together to survey a stretch of river and log the barriers we see to help you get to grips with the survey method.

Date: 03/07/2021

Times: 10am-11.30am in Leatherhead or 1pm-2.30pm in Crawley.

After you’ve completed both parts of the training, you’ll head out in groups to complete ObstacEELS surveys along your chosen sections of the River Mole and its tributaries.

Click HERE to book your spot at the training.


Community Talks and Guided Walks

 The South East Rivers Trust is also looking to deliver a number of guided walks and talks with local community groups in the Mole catchment.

We will introduce the species and talk about its incredible life cycle, before covering some of the threats it faces and what’s being done to help it. It is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the plight of the eel which is an incredibly fascinating creature.

If you’d like us to come and talk to your community group or run a guided walk with you, please email melanie@southeastriverstrust.org


Elver Migration Monitoring

We’re working with an amazing bunch of volunteers to monitor the migration of young eels (elvers) on the River Ember, a side branch of the River Mole.

Recruitment of young eels has fallen significantly over the last 40 years so this monitoring is incredibly important to help them survive and thrive. The data collected at this site feeds into a project spanning the Thames, coordinated by ZSL. It provides essential information which helps prioritise and plan work across London and beyond to help these endangered creatures.

Between April and September our team of volunteers are

  • Checking the eel trap regularly
  • Counting, measuring and releasing any eels found
  • Uploading records to the ZSL website.

This gives us data on the number of young joining the adult population and can highlight the impact of barriers, one of the principle threats to eels in freshwater.

Check out the video below to see what’s involved: