Spawn to be Wild

Our legendary schools programme to bring eels back to our waters has won several awards, and we are very proud of it. It's leading the industry and putting children in touch with the story of the endangered eel.

More endangered than the red panda

The European eel is a critically endangered species

Watch this video to find out about Spawn to be Wild and how we try to save this fascinating creature.

What species are endangered?

When asked, the red panda or even the blue whale might spring to mind. But often, the European eel is overlooked - yet they are more endangered than both the red panda and the blue whale.

Since the 1970s, the number of eels reaching Europe has declined by around 90%, due to environmental threats such as overfishing, pollution and barriers in the river. The European eel can be found within lakes and rivers across our region - including Blagdon Lake - so they really are a species close to our heart.

By raising awareness and helping to raise eels in local classrooms, we hope to do our bit to increase eel numbers.


What are we doing to save them?

Baby European eels, known as Larva, travel on oceanic currents from the Sargasso Sea to Europe, including right here in the West Country. Here, the baby eels transform into elvers.

Our Spawn to be Wild scheme protects them from environmental threats by taking them for a pit-stop in local schools for several weeks.

This gives children a chance to connect with the story of the endangered eel in a unique way, while helping the elvers to grow in a safe environment, a true win-win.

Below are a few facts about just how fascinating eels are

Fact 4 Over 1000 local school children have helped us protect eels
Fact 1 eels can live up to 85 years meaning the eels we release could be swimming around until the year 2100
Fact 5 5000 eels this month will mark our 5000th eel release
Fact 2 Give way, eels coming through we've made special eel passes at blagdon lake to help them navigate through beds of bristles
Fact 6 Eels are colour changing kind of - young eels are transparent they then become darker and then silver as they get older
Fact 3 eels are critically endangered more so than the giant panda and have declined by 90 percent since the seventies

Our collaborators in this project...


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