Trust helps pupils learn about rivers and conservation

From left, volunteer Steve Johnson, with pupils from St Peter's, Tahir Bakhst, Jannath Chowdury (front), Kaleem Shah and Isha Hussain and trust enforcement officer Neil Ashworth

From left, volunteer Steve Johnson, with pupils from St Peter's, Tahir Bakhst, Jannath Chowdury (front), Kaleem Shah and Isha Hussain and trust enforcement officer Neil Ashworth

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

NEW generations of brown trout are making their way through Burnley’s waterways after being reared by youngsters at town primary schools.

Pupils nurtured the fish from the egg stage until they were mature enough to be released into the River Brun and the River Calder.

Supported by the Ribble Rivers Trust, the youngsters also took part in a series of workshops, composing stories, poems and music around the troutlets.

Young students at Holy Trinity CE, Stoneyholme Primary and St Peter’s Primary released their fish at various points along the River Brun, under the watchful eye of a trust education officer.

And pupils from St James Park Hill, Ightenhill Primary and Springfield Primary were taken to spots along the banks of the River Calder to give their charges freedom.

The children were given insights into the life cycle of the trout ahead of the release dates, as the trout grew in tanks in the classrooms, and the importance of ensuring clean habitats was stressed. Part of the Burnley Urban River Enhancement Scheme (URES), backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, a number of physical improvements including widened urban channels for the Brun and fish ladders in Thompson Park.

Neil Ashworth, the trust’s education and projects officer for the URES, said: “Local people are essential to the success of the URES and we are working to encourage and equip our communities with the skills, experience and confidence to take ownership and pride in our rivers.Children are the future guardians of the rivers and it is vital to the success of the scheme that they become involved.”

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