Over 500 children across 17 schools have taken part in the ‘Rivers in the Classroom’ education programme this school year. This forms part of the Ribble Rivers Trust’s Ribble Life Together project and other ongoing schemes. Part funded by the Community Challenge Fund, the project helped the trust to inspire the next generation and give youngsters hands-on experience out in the environment. From classroom based activities to river detective work on the river banks, the children have been learning about the life-cycles of their local fish and wildlife. The project enabled schools to integrate the learning into everyday life and classes such as Art and English. It also gave the children the opportunity to get outside and form a connection to their local watercourses while exploring the importance of rivers in relation to water quality and bathing waters. One teacher involved in the project, said:
“The children were given experiences and learning opportunities, both inside and outside the classroom, which enriched and enhanced their understanding of the local area. They were given an insight into environmental issues through first-hand experience.”Between now and September 2017 funding from the Community Challenge Fund will also provide volunteer training and events to improve public footpath infrastructure on river walks, engage new people in recording river data to inform catchment management, support work experience placements and allow staff and volunteers to engage and educate local communities about the importance of our rivers. The Community Challenge Fund was set up by The Rivers Trust and the Greggs Foundation to support the delivery of environmental education projects for local communities around rivers. The Ribble Life Together is just one of six projects to be awarded the funding in England.