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Something fishy for 10,000 school children on the Clyde

Glasgow, United Kingdom: Over 10,000 pupils from across the Strathclyde region and beyond have become ambassadors for the Clyde after taking part in an educational programme to highlight the river’s biodiversity and its continuing importance at the heart of the community.

Now in its 10th year, ‘Clyde in the Classroom’ aims to teach young people to respect and protect their river and is run by the Clyde River Foundation, in partnership with the Glasgow Science Centre. More than 1,400 young people have attended a series of events this month, with today’s event at the Glasgow Science Centre boosting the total number of pupils taking part to 10,000 since the scheme began in 2001.

With its major warship operations on the Clyde, BAE Systems is actively supporting the initiative to the tune of £10,000 under its education outreach programme.

Encouraging young people to take an active role in conserving their local river, pupils from over 50 schools have been given a batch of trout eggs to incubate in their very own classroom hatchery. Over the ensuing seven weeks, the school pupils are responsible for nurturing and developing the eggs in their care. At the end of this period, the children take part in a release day where they say goodbye to the trout fry they have reared, and release them into the River Clyde and burns in their local area.

Pupils have also learned about the lifecycle of the brown/sea trout, the most common fish found in the Clyde, fish husbandry, and the factors affecting the river’s fish populations to boost their understanding of ecology and biodiversity in the Clyde.

Clyde in the Classroom is supported and funded by Scottish Natural Heritage and the Scottish Government, plus a number of local authorities, charitable grant awarding bodies, angling clubs and companies throughout the region. The additional boost from BAE Systems’ Surface Ships business will now help to secure the project for the next two years.

Dr Willie Yeomans of the Clyde River Foundation, said: “When Clyde in the Classroom began nine years ago we had five schools registered on the programme, this has now increased to a remarkable total of 245 this year. The main purpose of Clyde in the Classroom is to get young people involved and engaged with the natural environment, so to welcome the 10,000th pupil to the project today is a fantastic achievement for all those involved.”

Deputy First Minister and Govan MSP, Nicola Sturgeon, commented: “I’m delighted to support this innovative and very worthwhile project. 10,000 pupils have already benefited from this experience and I hope that many more school pupils will be able to learn about the ecology of the Clyde in future.”

Charles Thompson, Communications Director at BAE Systems Surface Ships, said: “Our business has strong ties with the Clyde, with our shipyards at both Govan and Scotstoun, so we are delighted to pledge our support to this project and help encourage young people to take an interest in our iconic river, its importance and preservation”.

The Clyde River Foundation is a Scottish registered charity which researches the ecology of the River Clyde and its tributaries, and promotes environmental education throughout the catchment.  Clyde in the Classroom runs from January to Easter each year. Any school interested in participating or which would like further information on the project, should contact Caroline McGillivray at the Clyde River Foundation on 0141 330 5080 or email c.mcgillivray@bio.gla.ac.uk.

Issued by:

BAE Systems, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 6YU, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1252 384719 Fax: +44 (0) 1252 383947
24hr media hotline: + 44 (0) 7801 717739
www.baesystems.com

Ref: 002/2010