Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Honky Tonk Trout

The picture is one of a group of 26 trout as coloured in by Year 1 and 2 pupils at a school in the catchment I visited yesterday. The kids were great and we also visited a local beck where, despite flood conditions I managed to get the whole range of invertebrate species, sticklebacks, stone loach and a white clawed crayfish. It never ever fails to surprise me at just how enthusiastic kids get when the see a tray of bugs. We even had a small olive hatch in the tray. This was the icing on the cake as I had just played a short video of mayflies hatching (and trout eating them!) back in the classroom.

My hope with these type of visits is that we may just inspire one or two future 'Chris Packhams' to get involved in freshwater conservation (and boy do we need them). If nothing else I am convinced that they will remember their trip to the beck and view it as something that is living, fragile and worthy of protection.

One thing for sure is that I really appreciate just how much hard work our Education Officer puts in day in and day out through our Rivers in the Classroom initiative. Half a day left me completely drained...what an amateur!