Return to Sender! Elvis the Eel discovered 100 miles from Shropshire
A wooden eel, affectionately named Elvis, has been discovered ‘all washed up’ on a beach 100 miles from its Alveley, Shropshire home of Severn Valley Country Park.
Elvis was one of two eels installed in the play area at Severn Valley Country Park and could be described as ‘Wooden (He)art’.
Unfortunately both eels were stolen from the popular play area in 2020.
However, after months of searching, Elvis has now been discovered on a beach in Portishead near Bristol. Elvis and its sibling wooden eel were provided by the Unlocking the Severn project to excite children and engage them with the wildlife of the river.
Unlocking the Severn is a river connectivity project and one of the largest river restorations ever attempted in Europe and aims to improve fish passage and aid migrations.
Therefore, you could say it seems only fitting that Elvis has made his own migration from Shropshire to the mouth of the River Severn – however perilous that journey may have been!
Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for culture, leisure, waste and communications, said:
“Elvis being found washed up 100 miles from home is remarkable and is wonderful news. I think you could say we’re ‘all shook up’ by this unexpected surprise!
“Council officers are now working with the finders to have Elvis safely transported back to Severn Valley Country Park after his extraordinary migration, where children will once again be able to enjoy him.
“I’d like to thank the finders of Elvis – it is truly remarkable. Hopefully we can find Elvis’ sibling and reunite the pair!”
Alex Ball, Senior Project Manager for Canal & River Trust, said:
“The Unlocking the Severn project is about restoring the river for fish migration. Clearly this piece of play equipment has made an epic journey of its own. We are extremely grateful to everyone who has contributed to finding the wooden eel, sharing the story on social media, and bringing the information to the attention of the council and the Unlocking the Severn project. We look forward to the eel being reunited with the rest of the play trail, as it is a very important legacy of the project, alongside the fantastic fish passes around Worcester which will ensure passage for all kinds of migratory fish up into Shropshire and beyond.”
Police are aware of the discovery and the search for the Elvis’ sibling wooden eel continues.
About Unlocking the Severn:
Unlocking the Severn is a conservation and river engagement project. It is unlocking the UK’s longest river for people and wildlife.
The project is delivered by the Canal & River Trust, Severn Rivers Trust, Environment Agency and Natural England. It is one of the largest river connectivity projects of its kind ever attempted in Europe, with funding from the National Lottery – awarded through the National Lottery Heritage Fund – and the European Union LIFE programme.
State of the art fish passes will be installed on four navigation weirs on the River Severn, following fish passage improvements that completed at two sites on the River Teme.
Unlocking the Severn will also deliver ambitious heritage, education and science programmes that aim to reconnect local people with the River. This includes working with community groups along the river, thousands of school children, and creating opportunities for hundreds of volunteers.