Did you know the European eel breeds and spawns in the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda, from where they make the 5,000km journey across the Atlantic to reach our rivers and streams?
Avon Wildlife Trust have been running their ‘Spawn to be Wild’ eel education programme in four primary schools, where pupils have been learning a lot about these fascinating creatures, as they carefully nurtured tanks of elvers in their classrooms.
Pupils in St Peter’s Primary, Pilning; Crossways Primary, Thornbury; Severn Beach Primary and Berkeley Primary have found out all about the eel’s lifecycle, water conservation and native wildlife through a series of education workshops.
The pupils then went on a field trip to release their elvers into the Little Avon River at the Berkeley Estate; a suitable location where they can carry on their migration upstream avoiding man-made obstacles, such as weirs and dams, which have been a large contributing factor in them becoming a critically endangered species.
This project has been developed by Avon Wildlife Trust in partnership with Bristol Water who have a regulatory commitment to protect the eel. It has been made possible thanks to the support of the Fisheries Team at Bridgwater College who reared the elvers and installed thanks in the schools, Berkeley Castle who gave us access to their grounds to hold the release days, elver fishermen who donated the elvers and with support from the Sustainable Eel Group.
Our kind thanks also go to Martin Wise from the Fishing Syndicate who attended the release days to run activities to educate pupils about the wildlife found in the Little Avon, showing examples of invertebrates from this habitat.
The children and teachers all found the project an inspiring experience, having the opportunity to learn about their local wildlife in this beautiful natural environment. It is something they will remember for a long time to come!
Learning Development Manager, Avon Wildlife Trust
Spawn to be Wild Project: http://www.avonwildlifetrust.org.uk/learn-discover/schools/spawn-be-wild