The Wear Rivers Trust is passionate about helping young people learn about, explore and conserve their local river environment.
"It's so valuable for children to have a hands-on experience: they are far more likely to learn and remember this way" (Sunderland school teacher)
The River Wear and tributaries are a wonderful educational resource just waiting to be discovered. Learning outdoors is a crucial part of all young people's development and the more engaged young people get with the environment, the more likely they are to grow up respecting and looking after it, as well as keeping themselves healthy by getting out and about. The Wear Rivers Trust is keen to work with schools and groups of all ages who would like help with learning about and looking after Our River Wear. So if you have a project or topic in mind read on to find out what we can offer and then please get in touch with Lucy Lovett, our Education Officer.
Our River Wear in Schools - what is available?
Riverfly Monitoring project - follow the link to find out more!
Mayfly in the Classroom project - follow the link to find out more!
Our River Wear studies
We can organise and lead field trips which are tailor made to help young people meet their learning objectives through hands-on activities. We can arrange to cover any watery topic: freshwater habitats, food chains and life cycles; the journey and features of rivers; pollution and other manmade problems; historic use of water and the river valley etc. etc. We have a list of sites that we regularly use for trips and which are good for different aspects of watery learning and we also encourage the use of local streams for visits (see adopt-a-stream below). We will do our best to help groups understand the river as a whole, from the source at the head of Weardale, down through the Wear Valley, across the lowlands and out to the sea. We want to show how the River Wear plays an important part in our environment and encourage people to cherish and protect it.
We can help teachers and students understand more about the River Wear by various activities based in the classroom and school grounds. A school visit could be a precursor or follow-up to a field trip or could be designed to bring the river to you (especially useful in those colder months!) via a talk or presentation, fun activities, and even by bringing a sample of river creatures in for children to work with. Again, we will be happy to design a session to complement your learning objectives and help young people relate their studies to their local environment. Click here to read more about our curriculum links.
If you have a school pond we can also come and lead pond dips, assess pond health and advise on pond maintenance. Comparing pond habitats to river habitats is always a good project, especially to illustrate how animals adapt to their surroundings, so do consider doing a school pond dip and then letting us take you on a trip to do a river dip.
We would love to help you with projects in your neighbourhood. Using a stream near the school helps young people to understand their local environment and gives them a sense of what influence they have on the area they live in. After using a local stream for study, why not go further and do something to protect it?! Litter picks and bashing of the invasive Himalayan Balsam plant are satisfying activities for young people to get involved in and if you would like to monitor the water quality and health of your local river habitat then why not join in our fantastic Riverfly for Schools project!
Funders and supporters of the education work: