Regarded as the world’s most trafficked animal, the European Eel is now classed as critically endangered. The annual Eels in the Classroom project, organised by Lincolnshire Rivers Trust (LRT), delivered three tanks to the National Junior School, Huntingtower Academy, Belton Lane Primary School, and one tank was on public display at the Wyndham Park visitor centre in Grantham, reaching hundreds of people.
Schoolchildren and the visitor centre volunteers took care of the tanks of elvers (baby eels) over a four-week period. The two hundred or so elvers were then released, under a special licence, at a public event at Wyndham Park on 26th May and at Brayford Pool in Lincoln. Over one hundred schoolchildren, teachers and parents attended the event. Wyndham Park and Brayford Pool provide ideal habitats for the elvers to grow before they make their way down the Witham to the The Wash at Boston, where they go on to swim thousands of miles to the Sargassso Sea to spawn. It can take up to 20 years for an eel to reach maturity!
By bringing the wildlife into schools, children not only learn about the eels, but they directly contribute to conservation through restocking. Gail Talton, Witham Project Manager, who co-ordinates the project, explains its importance, “Eels play a huge role in the health of river ecosystems. So, we are very appreciative for all the charitable trust and community group donations we receive. Every single penny we put towards this project is directly supporting the conservation of a critically endangered animal, whilst having the bonus of engaging so many children and adults from all walks of life.” Lincolnshire Rivers Trust extends a big thank you to this year’s sponsors:
• Alan Boswell Charitable Trust https://www.alanboswell.com/about/corporate-social-responsibility/ • Cargill Cares Council https://www.cargill.com/about/community/local-communities • Hungate Singers https://hungatesingers.org.uk • Lincolnshire Co-op Community Champions https://www.lincolnshire.coop/community/community-champions
For further information contact: Gail Talton, Witham Project Manager Tel: 07927 156155 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org FB, Instagram & Twitter: @EastMerciaRT