Director of Plan A at Marks & Spencer, Mike Barry commented: “There’s a tremendous sense of camaraderie when people come together to give something back to their local community and that’s exactly what Spark Something Good is all about. I’m thrilled that Bristol has embraced our initiative in this way and got stuck in, and I’m proud to have played a small part.”
Thanks to all of our fantastic volunteers who worked so hard to spread the message over such a large area and to all of the local people along the way who promised to reconsider their waste liquid disposal behaviours!
More than 50 Luckington school pupils paddled in the shallow waters of Luckington Brook to release the baby European eels they had been studying as part of our ‘Eel in the Classroom’ Project.
The eels were donated by Bridgwater College after being caught by elver fishermen on the River Parrett and were bought into the classroom for 6 weeks so that the children could learn about their fascinating lifecycles and the issues they face. The European eel is thought to spawn in the Sargasso sea before floating in the North Atlantic currents as ‘leptocephali’ (eels translucent larvae form) and then morphing into darkened ’elvers’ with the characteristic eel body form when they reach the freshwaters of Europe. The eels then spend up to 20 years living and feeding in our rivers before making the long journey back to the Sargasso Sea to spawn.
Numbers of the eel have declined by as much as 95 per cent since the 1970s, with barriers such as tidal gates and weirs, overfishing and pollution all affecting the survival of the species.
Six-year-old, Rory Snowden said: “We kept the eels in our classroom for lots of weeks in a glass tank. They were very wriggly and they climbed up the sides. I didn’t know they had teeth but they do!”
William Greening, 8, said: “I did enjoy the project and my favourite part of it was when class one were holding the eels and they tipped them out, but only some of the eels went out because some clung onto the box with their tails.”
Thank you to the Halpin Charitable Trust for funding this project and our other educational work in Sherston, Wiltshire. Thanks also to Bridgwater College for kindly rearing the eels before donating them to this project.
In the press:
BART has joined forces with a number of local organisations to put on Frome River Awareness Festival 2016, a series of events to raise awareness of the River Frome including its wildlife, its challenges and the partnerships which exist to try and improve it. Recent pollution events have tempered ongoing river improvement works but we are determined that the community of Frome should use this as a spur to action rather than let it thwart our efforts to improve the river for the benefit of people and wildlife.
Frome is a special place and the river helps to make it special – put this week in your diary and we hope to see you at the events!
For more information, please contact BART Trust Manager Ian at firstname.lastname@example.org