Over the last fortnight schools in the local area have been receiving a special delivery – Trout fry!
The Trout in the Classroom project has been running since 2009 by The Chiltern Chalk Streams Project, in partnership with The River Chess association, Chilterns Conservation Board and the Chiltern Society. This year 11 schools are involved in the project (9 schools on the Chess and 3 in the Wye Valley).
The project aims to teach pupils about Brown Trout and the special Chalk stream habitat that they live in. In previous years the schools have received Trout eggs which hatch and grow into Alevins and then Fry. This year due to weather conditions the eggs hatched early so the schools are receiving the fish at a slightly later stage. The children will monitor the specially set up tanks which recreates the condition of a chalk stream and feed the fish until they are big enough to be released into the river (about 12 weeks). The classes involved will then have an exciting trip to their local stretch of river to set the fish free
The programme fits into national curriculum links about life cycles, habitats and living things. It also aims to inspire the children to look after their local areas and the special countryside they are fortunate to live in.
Education officer, Laura Silverstone says “It has been great going into schools this week teaching children about Chalk streams and Brown Trout. Their enthusiasm and excitement has been fantastic. A member of school staff remarked that they were more excited than when Father Christmas visited!”