A SCHEME that encourages schoolchildren to rear juvenile trout in the classroom isn’t only curating their interest in rivers, but also providing them with a valuable introduction to angling.
Trout in the Classroom (TIC), a project offered by the Ribble Rivers Trust (RRT) to schools in the local catchment, has been operating for a decade, but has now been expanded thanks to additional funding, and is running at full capacity in 12 schools.
“We use tanks to create a flowing river system in the classroom, where pupils watch 100 brown trout eggs hatch and develop into fry,” Christi Lloyd, Education and Engagement Officer at the RRT told us. “They become fully immersed in the experience, seeing their life-cycle progress before taking their young trout to the local river where they release them.”
The experience has proven so beneficial to students that schools are beginning to fund TIC themselves, and the RRT are now over-subscribed with requests for the project.
And it looks likely the forward-thinking initiative will also prove beneficial to angling in the long-run, because as well as fostering an understanding of rivers in the next generation, it also offers pupils the chance to go fishing as an extension of the project.
“One of our Education Officers, Neil, a very keen angler and qualified Level 2 coach, offers schools ‘An Introduction to Fishing’ sessions, that local angling clubs engage in,” Christi added.
“These educational activities help children develop the knowledge and skills they need to become ‘river guardians’ of the future.”