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School river project continues to grow with FlightPath funding

Primary school pupils in West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow City have been fishing for facts in their local waterways thanks to new funding from Glasgow Airport.

More than 250 pupils from seven primary schools in the north and west of the City of Glasgow waded into water in the second phase of an education initiative called the Flying Fish project, devised and delivered by the Clyde River Foundation.

Through its FlightPath Fund, Glasgow Airport provided the charity with £9,000 to deliver the innovative conservation project, which will help raise awareness of river ecology amongst young people in the Clydebank area.

Throughout autumn, the budding environmentalists waded into their local patch of the Duntocher Burn to fish for wildlife. They learned about the techniques that scientists use to monitor fish and invertebrate populations in rivers, how to sample aquatic invertebrates and uncovered the links between what lives in and around the river. After a morning at the river each class spent an educational afternoon identifying their beasties in a ‘pop-up’ laboratory, calculated the health of their river and tied their own fishing flies.

The primary schools involved in the Flying Fish project this year are: St. Joseph’s Primary, St. Clare’s Primary, Our Lady or Loretto Primary, St. Mary’s Primary, St. Stephen’s Primary, St. Eunan’s Primary and Our Holy Redeemer Primary.

Dr Willie Yeomans, Catchment Manager for the Clyde River Foundation said:

“The aim of the Flying Fish project is to give youngsters a real understanding of the ecology of their local waterways through a hands-on outdoor experience. Children learn about health of their local river and how this links back to the health of their community. We’re delighted to receive this support from Glasgow Airport for a second year running. We also acknowledge the support of the TrustHouse Charitable Foundation, Cashback for Communities and Dalmuir Park Ranger Team for allowing us the use of their facilities to deliver part of the project.”

West Dunbartonshire Councillor Kath Ryall said: “This is a really fun, dynamic and educational project which has given hundreds of children the opportunity to gain practical conservation experience and learn about our ecosystems.  The Clyde River Foundation has a fantastic reputation for delivering these workshops and this additional funding will allow it to deliver more sessions for schools throughout West Dunbartonshire.  It is educational and inspiring projects like these that the FlightPath Fund is eager to support.”

St Stephen’s Primary 6 teacher Mrs Sullivan said “I have to say that our field study trip today was one of the best I have had the privilege to be part of. We were all greatly surprised by the animal life found in the burn water and delighted that we had the opportunity to view the varieties of species 'up close and personal'. The children had nothing but positive comments to make about today, with many wishing that it could have been longer. Thanks to everyone involved for such an enjoyable and educating experience which has managed to cover many of our experiences and outcomes across the curriculum.”

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