In the swim… baby trout released into the River Kennet
Pupils from Ramsbury Primary, Marlborough St. Mary’s and Kennet Valley Primary have all been participating in Action for the River Kennet (ARK) Trout in Schools Project. Over sixty trout from each school have been released into the Kennet and Marlborough’s Mayor Mervyn was there to help. A few tears were shed as primary school children waved goodbye to their baby trout which they have been nurturing for several months.
ARK are celebrating ten years of running the Trout in Schools Project. They bring tiny newly hatched brown trout into the classrooms supplying and setting up a tank, chiller, filter and air stone. The teacher and pupils are taught how to care for their baby trout.
Anna Forbes from ARK said, “Trout are very sensitive fish, they are much more needy than goldfish! The tank replicates the chalk stream habitat of clean, cool, clear and well oxygenated water.”
“Over the months the children see several life cycle stages of the fish happening in their classroom and take an active part in daily checks and water changes. We revisit the classes over the duration of the project to run sessions that help the children gain a better understanding of their local chalk river and get them close up to the rich variety of wonderful creatures that depend on it being unpolluted with a plentiful flow of water.”
Vicky Fry, teacher at Ramsbury Primary, said, “It’s been a great project. The children have come together taking responsibility for looking after the baby trout, changing the water, feeding them and being on death watch! It has helped them understand the life cycle and brought an awareness of saving water.”
As they were releasing the fish Anna told the children, “We mustn’t be sad to see them go, it’s time to put them back into their natural environment. Over 50% of your trout survived, in the wild it would only be 5%.”
The project is made possible thanks to the generosity of Berkshire Trout Farm who give ARK the eggs and have supported them for all ten years of this popular project. It is also part of Ark’s Water Matters Project in partnership with Thames Water.
Anna told marlborough.news, "The schools have worked hard and have been extremely dedicated to this very hands on project. Hopefully the little brown trout have inspired the children, their families and school staff to be Water Smart and leave more water for the river and the wildlife that we all enjoy."