Thursday, 16 April 2015

Chalk River Guardians

In the last few months Ursula from Holt Hall and Jennifer from Norfolk Wildlife Trust worked together on a project run by the Norfolk Rivers Trust, called Chalk River Guardians. 

Ursula with the river explorers from Langham Primary School in the River Glaven.
The aim was to teach young people to learn about their local chalk river and encourage them to actively participate in measuring parameters on the river for use by Norfolk Rivers Trust. In educating the young people we hoped that they may become more aware of the consequences of their actions on the local water catchment resulting in a positive change in behaviour and attitude towards the waterways. 

Children from Reffley identifying the different things found in the River Gaywood.

The schools involved included Churchill Park, Holly Meadows and Reffley school who worked on the River Gaywood, and Holt Village Primary and Langham Village primary who worked on the River Glaven.

The young people were involved in measuring the cleanliness of the water as well as monitoring the invertebrates that dwell on the river bed. Despite the fact that it was winter, all the young people wrapped up in scarves and hats and gloves and wellies and braved the cold water with excited smiles.

Ursula and the children from Holly Meadows standing next to the River Gaywood.

They measured the turbidity, width, depth, flow, substrate and a basic biotic score. They were so surprised at how many invertebrates there were hiding under the stones and plants; we felt that in discovering the wildlife they began to appreciate how much was at risk if they were to pollute the local water course. Some of them became so fond of their “pets” that they named them, and begged to take them home! I’m not sure how many parents would appreciate a Freshwater Shrimp named Bob…

They thoroughly enjoyed their time on the river and the beautifully constructed poems and beaming faces indicate their glee. Outdoor learning is the best!

One of the methods the team used to evaluate the project - Head, Heart, Bin, Bag.

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