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Spawn To Be Wild: Learning about Eels Close Up

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Posted: Monday 24th July 2017 by WildSchools

Children from Court de Wyck Primary School near Yatton, recently released eels into Blagdon Lake and watched them swim off, after carefully nurturing them in tanks in their classroom for several weeks. The year-five children, aged nine and ten, have had a chance to learn about eels’ fascinating and long lives, as well as understanding what they can do to help protect eels in the future.

It’s all part of our Spawn to be Wild project – a collaboration between Avon Wildlife Trust, Bristol Water, the Sustainable Eel Group and Bridgewater & Taunton College – giving children a unique experience of watching the elvers grow, and sparking their imagination with learning activities linked to the eels.

Here are some of the highlights and experiences different children shared, including an early bid for freedom from an eel named Elliot!....

"The day out releasing the elvers was amazing because it was great to see what the elvers did when we released them in to the lake."

"I liked watching the elvers in the tank at our school. I watched them grow from glass eels when they were almost transparent, into elvers when they had grown much bigger and were silvery grey”

"After we finished our lunch it was time to release our elvers! I was super exited and I got the first eel. He was all slippery and slimy. I personally was petrified it was going leap out and bite me. Anna (our guide) told us no screaming and dropping the cup. As we started walking I noticed that my eel was getting active and started hitting me. I tried to look down at my cup and my hand slipped causing Elliot (my eel) to escape! Miss Hunt had to run and jump to save Elliot from overheating or damaging his scales. We managed to get Elliot back in the cup (phew!). Anna told us some insructions for releasing our eels. We knelt down and were told to hold the cup in the water so the eel had free will to get out in their own time. It was quite an experience and I’ll never forget the day my eel made a runner. I really enjoyed today and I hope we can do this again."

You can read more about the Spawn to Be Wild project on our website and view a film made by Bristol Water about the project on their You Tube channel.


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