Call to join charity down by the riverside

Youngsters from Lanchester E P  Primary School, in County Durham, taking part in the River Wears Trust 'Mayfly in the Classroom'  project.

Youngsters from Lanchester E P Primary School, in County Durham, taking part in the River Wears Trust 'Mayfly in the Classroom' project.

First published in News The Northern Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Health & Education Editor

A TRUST which runs a popular hands-on science and geography course for North-East schools is looking for new recruits to join them on the banks of the River Wear.

Once again, The Wear Rivers Trust will be running their successful Mayfly education project, and want schools to sign up!

Due to the popularity of lasts year’s ‘Mayfly in the Classroom’ it is being repeated this spring and summer. The project uses the life of the mayfly to engage children in learning about rivers.

Run with a school group over a two-week period, the project involves a river field trip to collect mayfly nymphs which will develop under the children’s care back in school.

Children build temporary homes for the mayflies and daily monitor conditions such as water temperature and oxygen, before releasing adult mayflies on the river bank at the end of the fortnight.

The project provides a plethora of mayfly-related resources for teachers to use to help their class learn about life cycles, food chains, water habitats and pollution. The Mayfly project has been developed by the Wild Trout Trust and was a great success last year.

Education officer, Lizzie Willows, who provides all the equipment and resources needed, said: “I loved working with schools on this project last year and can’t wait to meet lots of new children and introduce them to the amazing underwater world of the river bed. Children are always fascinated by what they find and really keen to learn more, and this really is a great curriculum support.”

Teachers last year described the project as “amazing” and “an excellent experience for all involved”. The project can be run anytime between now and early October and more information can be found on the Trust website. Any school wanting to sign up is asked to do so sooner rather than later to avoid disappointment.

One of the Trust’s key aims is to raise awareness of the value and beauty of the river and its wildlife and to encourage people to explore, enjoy and look after their local river environment. Getting young people engaged is vital and the Trust offers one-off river field trips and school presentations, as well as the Mayfly project. All educational activities support the national curriculum whilst encouraging children to make new connections with nature. Wear Rivers Trust are able to run these educational activities with schools in the River Wear catchment due to funding from Sir James Knott Trust, Northumbrian Water Limited and Wild Trout Trust.

If you would like to sign your school up then get in contact with Lizzie on 01388 488867/07880 189232 or email her on To help support the work of the Wear Rivers Trust visit

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