Yesterday, Friday March 6, Ogbourne Primary School pupils joined Action for the River Kennet (ARK) Project Officer Anna Forbes and ARK volunteer Glyn Horn in Cooper’s Meadow, Marlborough to release forty-five brown trout into the Kennet.
The class have been caring for the trout in a classroom tank since the beginning of January through the ARK Trout in School project.
Also there to watch the baby trout swim away were Danny Kruger MP and Cllr Mark Cooper (Marlborough Town Council’s Deputy Mayor) who donned waders and joined the children in the river. Cllr Cooper also shared his family’s connection to the water meadow, which was named after his great grandfather.
Anna Forbes said, “The students loved being in waders in the Kennet and thoroughly enjoyed a led riverbank stroll around the meadow, which was a brilliant opportunity to bring to life everything we’ve been teaching them in the classroom.
The other schools we’ve worked with this year are Inkpen Primary, Shalbourne Primary, St Nicholas, Newbury and Whitley Park, Reading. However, Ogbourne are the most successful school this year. They started off with fifty baby trout, so it’s a brilliant achievement to have only lost five!”
ARK is a charity and is the Rivers Trust for the Kennet catchment. This project is part of their Water Matters project in partnership with Thames Water. Trout in School engages and inspires primary school children, connecting them with their local rivers.
Brown trout are a very sensitive species and have particular requirements to thrive. A healthy chalk stream provides these requirements that are being replicated in the tanks that ARK set up in schools.
ARK wants students to understand where their water comes from and that they, their families and schools can all play a valuable role in being Water Smart. We often use far more water than we realise and lots of small changes with how we use water can lead collectively to a big reduction in the amount used. This in turn leaves more water to reach our rivers and support wildlife such as the brown trout.