Children from over 50 primary schools have taken part in the Clyde in the Classroom initiative, a project run by the Clyde River Foundation which aims to teach school children about river conservation and freshwater ecology. Launched at the Glasgow Science Centre in January, the seven week project has seen pupils learn about the river’s biodiversity and the factors which affect the Clyde’s fish populations.
Most importantly, the children have learned about the lifecycle of the brown trout, by nurturing and incubating trout eggs in their very own classroom hatchery. The pupils have been responsible for ensuring the trout were kept in optimum conditions, including monitoring the water temperature in the hatchery and ensuring that no water fouling occurred. They are now preparing to release the trout they have reared and cared for into their natural habitat of local burns and rivers.
Kelsey MacKenzie, a primary six pupil from Blairdardie Primary School, said: The project has been great fun and it’s been really exciting releasing our fish. We’ve seen them grow from eggs so it’s also a bit sad to see them go.”
Classmate, Zoe Riddell, added: “The best bit of the project has been rearing and looking after the fish. It’s very different to caring for normal pet fish that you would have at home!”
Dr Willie Yeomans of the Clyde River Foundation, said: “By engaging with children at an early age, we can show them the important role they can play in helping to conserve their local river and its tributaries, ensuring that they can be enjoyed for many years to come.
“The release days really demonstrate the hard work and commitment that’s shown by each and every pupil across the project. The initiative continues to be a great success and we look forward to building on this again next year. “
Since its launch in 2001, over 12,000 pupils from across the Strathclyde region and beyond have taken part in the Clyde in the Classroom initiative. It 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. BAE Systems is actively supporting the initiative to the tune of £10,000 under its education outreach programme, while The Quay, Glasgow, is investing £5,000 as part of its work within the local community and its commitment to Glasgow’s environment.
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 March each year. Any school interested in participating or which would like further information on the project, contact Caroline McGillivray at the Clyde River Foundation on 0141 330 5080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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