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.

Know more

More endangered than the red panda

 

The European eel is a critically endangered species

 

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
A picture of cartoon eels spelling out the words 'over 1000 local school children have helped us protect eels
A picture of cartoon eels spelling out the words 'Give way, eels coming through. We've made special eel passes at blagdon lake to help them navigate through beds of bristles'
A picture of cartoon eels spelling out 'Eels can live up to 85 years, meaning the eels we release this year could be swimming around until the year 2100'
A picture of cartoon eels spelling out the words 'Eels are changing colour (kind of) Young eels are transparent, they become darker and then silver as they get older'
A picture of cartoon eels spelling out the words '5000 eels: this month will mark our 5000th eel release'
A picture of cartoon eels spelling out the words 'Eels are critically endangered. More so than the giant panda, and have declined by 90% since the 1970's'

Our collaborators in this project...

Sustainable Eel Group Logo
The Wildlife Trusts logo
Kier Group Logo

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