Bristol schools go wild for 'Trout & About'

Thursday 15th January 2015

Fair Furlong Primary SchoolFair Furlong Primary School

Tanks and fish eggs are being delivered this week to eager schoolchildren across Bristol as part of 'Trout & About' , a joint project from Avon Wildlife Trust and Bristol Water. The schoolchildren will care for the trout eggs and the hatchlings in their classrooms, and visit a local pond or stream, before releasing the fish into Blagdon Lake in the Chew Valley this spring.

This innovative project gives children the chance to learn in and outside of the classroom, about river ecology, its role as part of a living landscape and local wildlife as well as learn about where the water in their taps come from. This is the third year of this highly successful and award winning project, now being delivered in Bristol schools during Bristol Green Capital year. The schools taking part this year are:

  • Christchurch Primary School, Clifton
  • Fair Furlong Primary School, Withywood
  • St Peter’s C of E Primary School, Bishopsworth
  • Hannah More Primary School, St Philips

Avon Wildlife Trust's Director of Community Engagement, Robin Maynard commented, "What could be a closer connection for school children to nature than being able to rear their own baby trout in tanks in the classroom and then release them into the wild? Avon Wildlife Trust’s ‘Trout & About’ project, supported by Bristol Water, enables children and their teachers to learn about the lifecycle of trout and their need for clean streams, rivers and lakes as their habitat – and through the trout’s story understand our reliance on their watery homes and the value of natural systems in providing essential services such as our drinking water.”

Bristol Water's Environment Manager Patric Bulmer said, "With Bristol’s status as European Green Capital, this unique environmental educational programme takes on extra significance this year. Trout and About is a fantastic way to help school children understand the link between the natural environment and the water we all use in our homes."

A pupil at Fair Furlong Primary School, Withywood said, “I’m really enjoying learning about the Trout and it will be fun to go to the lake to release. Today, we have learnt about life cycles and I have learnt that all cycles start with the sun’s energy”.

Through 'Trout & About', and hands-on learning, children will:

  • Develop closer links to their local natural environment;
  • Learn about freshwater habitats;
  • Find out how to help ensure the sustainability of a healthy environment;
  • Discuss water use, droughts, and their own personal environmental impact.

The project feeds into Bristol Water's catchment management work to improve water courses and supports Avon Wildlife Trust's 'Living Landscape' and learning strategy.

Children will document their 'Trout & About' progress through diaries and blogs at Avon Wildlife Trust's wildschools.org.uk.