Bringing fish into the classroom is a fantastic, interactive method of getting children excited about nature as well as introducing them to the issues facing the natural environment. Several river and catchment groups are having great success with this approach and regularly set up aquariums in schools.
The Wandle Trust
Trout in the Classroom has been the Wandle Trust’s award-winning education project since it began in 2001 in partnership with Thames 21. Every year they visit local schools and set up aquariums with Trout eggs in the classroom. The children get to see the hatching process and rear the juveniles until they are due to be released into the river. This ties in with most areas of the national curriculum and leaves the children with a great sense of achievement and a newfound enthusiasm for river ecology.
Westcountry Rivers Trust
The River Exe Salmon in the Classroom Project has just completed its fourth year and over 350 primary school pupils in the catchment have now been involved. As an introduction to rivers and wildlife, the children investigate the water quality of their local river by looking at the invertebrates living there. They then eagerly await the arrival of their salmon eggs which are soon ready to be transported from the hatchery. Just weeks after their arrival, the eggs hatch and 3‐4 weeks later they emerge as swim‐up fry ready to be released back into the river at Easter time.
Clyde River Foundation
Clyde in the Classroom is an annual scheme where hatcheries are installed in classrooms for two months and brown trout eggs are hatched and raised ready for release into the River Clyde. The project filters into all areas of the curriculum and inspires artwork and poetry as well as learning about trout development and river ecology. So far the Foundation has had hatcheries in 57% of the schools within the Clyde catchment and has engaged with over 16,000 pupils.