Ever heard of a smelt? It’s a small fish that, curiously, smells of cucumber. What’s more, it lives among us here in London.
The Thames is home to one of the UK’s few remaining breeding populations of smelt, a predatory fish once found in estuaries all round the UK. Fancy getting to know your cucumber-y neighbours better?
The Zoological Society of London (the charity behind London Zoo) is looking for volunteers to help out with a smelt conservation project. Research by ZSL last year suggests that Smelt spawn in the Wandsworth area, and now ZSL wants to investigate further.
That’s where you come in. Volunteers are needed to conduct surveys at various points along the river on seven dates between 25 February and 1 April, to give ZSL information about where exactly the smelt habitat is and how to protect it.
Volunteers will be trained by a ZSL marine biologist, and the task will involve walking along the foreshore at low tide, inspecting stones and other small objects for smelt eggs. The eggs are only 1mm in size, so a beady eye is necessary.
See the full list of dates and register here.