Youngsters from more than 50 schools took part in the Clyde in the Classroom initiative, run by the Clyde River Foundation, which aims to teach school children about river conservation and biodiversity. Pupils attended a series of launch events at the Glasgow Science Centre in January, where they were given a batch of trout eggs to incubate in classroom hatcheries.
Over the past seven weeks, pupils have been responsible for the husbandry of the eggs and fish – keeping the water temperature at an optimal level for the trout and ensuring that no water fouling occurs. Now, the children are preparing to release the trout they have dutifully reared into their natural habitat of the River Clyde and surrounding burns.
Ryan Dunphy, a primary six pupil from Knightswood Primary School, said: “It’s been great fun raising our trout, from the small eggs we took back to our classroom in January to the fish we’re releasing into the burn today. I do feel a bit sad letting them go but it’s good for them to live in their natural habitat. I feel proud to have been part of the project.”
Dr Willie Yeomans of the Clyde River Foundation, said: “The release days are a great occasion for all those involved in the project; especially the children and their teachers. It's the culmination of all their hard work and effort and today they are actively participating in the conservation of their local river and its inhabitants.”
Charles Thompson, Communications Director at BAE Systems Surface Ships, said: ”We’re proud to support this worthwhile project to protect the River Clyde. It’s a fantastic way of engaging local children and we hope that encouraging them to get involved in the conservation of our iconic river will help to ensure it remains at the heart of our community for years to come.”
Since its launch in 2001, over 10,000 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. Celebrating the 10 year anniversary, BAE Systems’ Surface Ships business, an active supporter of Clyde in the Classroom, has donated £10,000 as part of its education outreach programme, helping to secure the initiative for a further two years.
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 3305080 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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