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£3,000 boost for eel recovery at Charlecote Park





The weir at Charlecote Park
The weir at Charlecote Park

A £3,000 investment will breathe new life into ecology at historic Charlecote Park.

In partnership with the National Trust the Environment Agency is overseeing the installation of a new eel pass at the site, to boost migration and support eel recovery there.

The current weir at Charlecote Park prevents eel migration for the entire River Dene and its tributary brooks and streams, meaning eels are unable to access and use important habitat.

Daniel Johnson, Programme and Partnership Technical Specialist with Fisheries, Biodiversity and Geomorphology, said: “Addressing man-made barriers to migration helps us sustain the eel population, prevent decline and support population recovery.

“Improving wildlife habitat is a significant part of our role and we always aim to get the best possible result for the environment and people with the money we spend. The aim of this project is to replenish stocks of eels in the area and facilitate fish migration into the river.”

The cost of installing the new eel pass is £750. Fabricating it with supporting equipment is an extra £2,500. The project is being funded, in part, by revenue generated from the sale of fishing rod licenses.

“The eel is critically endangered and has played such an important role in British history we believe anything which can be done to boost its numbers, should be,” adds Daniel.

Spokesperson for the National Trust, Rosie Stokes, said: “We’re excited to be working with the Environment Agency to overcome a barrier to migration of eels into the River Dene.

“The simple installation of this eel pass will make a big difference to diversity of species inhabiting the River Dene while preserving an historic park feature.”

Because development work on the new eel pass involves construction within protected landscape – which includes a listed building – the project required local authority planning consent.

Work has now begun.



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