Schoolchildren are playing their part in a renowned ecology programme which sees them raise brown trout from eggs.
Pupils from Tinto Primary School have just completed ‘Clyde in the Classroom’ – an eco-education project that uses the life-cycle of a native Scottish species, the brown trout, to encourage children to engage with nature and protect their local environment.
Tinto Primary is one of 41 schools from the Clyde catchment participating in the project this year, which is run by the Clyde River Foundation.
The children, assisted by Clyde River Foundation scientists, have followed the development of brown trout from eggs to fry in a custom-made classroom hatchery over the past six weeks.
The children were responsible for the day-to-day care of the fish which required preparing them for release into the River Cart by using homemade icepacks to control the water temperature.
Teachers use Clyde in the Classroom to help deliver Curriculum for Excellence learning experiences and outcomes, tying in everything from art to mathematics with the project.
Mrs. Cairney the class teacher said: “Clyde in the Classroom has been a fantastic learning experience for all the children. It has brought together so many areas of the curriculum in a fun and engaging way.
“The children loved the fact that they were caring for the fish as well as learning about brown trout and their habitat. It made the learning very real and meaningful for them.
“We were all sad to see the fish go but knew it was necessary so that they could start the next stage of their lifecycle. The children were very proud that they had played a part in helping to maintain the brown trout fish population in the River Clyde.”
Clyde in the Classroom started in 2001 with five schools in Glasgow. It is now the Clyde River Foundation’s longest running and largest education project.
This year, 46 classes from 41 schools across the eight counties of the catchment are participating, totalling more than 1200 pupils.
Since 2000, 70 per cent of the 550 primary schools in the Clyde catchment have been involved with the scheme, with more than 26,000 pupils passing through the project to date.