Slimy Wrigglers

Slimy Wrigglers

Eel © Jack Perks

Slimy Wrigglers aims to address the dramatic decline in eel numbers over recent years.

The project in run by the Trust with support from from Environment Agency and Lee Valley Regional Park Authority.

The European eel is classified as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List and as a Priority Species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. This decline is largely due to physical barriers to migration and over-fishing.

In order to tackle the first of these, the Trust, with funding from the Catchment Partnership Action Fund and Environment Agency, installed two eel passes at Holyfield Marsh to allow eels to move a further 2.5km up the Lea Valley, as well as provide access to high quality still water habitat at Nazeing Marsh.

The eel passes allow eels to wriggle their way up a bristle lined box, to reach the other side of the 1.2 metre high weir. Holyfield Weir was identified by the Lower Lea Catchment Partnership as the first impassable migration barrier on the Lea that did not already have an eel pass or easement.