Wear Rivers Trust

Pollution Incident Hotline: 0800 80 70 60


WRT Education

Working with schools and youth groups has always been a priority for the trust. Over the last decade we have delivered river activities in dozens of schools throughout the catchment from Weardale to Wearside. The types of activities the trust can offer are outlined below. Most of our work is currently externally funded but we are happy to discuss potential projects with schools who would like to pay for delivery.  

John Muir

The John Muir Discovery Award has 4 elements: Discover, Explore, Conserve and Share. Each school meets the award criteria in different ways. The John Muir Award is all about exploring wild places and pupils undertake outdoor river activities.

The John Muir Award is an environmental award scheme focused on wild places. It is inclusive, accessible and non-competitive, though should challenge each participant.  The Award encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment through a structured yet adaptable scheme, in a spirit of fun, adventure and exploration.

Designed to meet your needs

Our Education Officers can design a bespoke package for your school to meet your individual needs. You can select tried and tested sessions from our database or develop new ones. 

The Education Team of Claire and Karen are both experienced practitioners and visit schools regularly. They should be able to develop sessions which match your aspirations.  Contact us to discuss your requirements and get a quotation.

River Schools

WRT have developed River Schools over the last year as a new way of delivering river based activity. Each of the six sessions helps children develop outdoor skills and build experience and confidence.  Rivers School follows the principals of Forest Schools, the pupils are active participants and the our education officers are the facilitators of activities. For centuries children have played in and along the river. The aim of River School is to ensure that this is done in a safe and enjoyable way. Pupils gaining a sense of responsibility and respect for the river that they can apply outside of school.


WRT organise Riverfly sessions with schools and local groups either as part of other activities or stand alone activities. Riverfly is a water quality monitoring technique which measures the number of pollution sensitive invertebrates in the watercourse. Regular monitoring can reveal improvement or reduction in water quality. WRT have both schools and volunteers throughout the catchment who regularly conduct Riverfly monitoring. Any significant drops in numbers are reported to the Environment Agency as a possible pollution incident. WRT are always keen to get more schools and volunteers involved to widen the network of monitoring points. 

Educate and Explore

This option is especially designed for schools in urban areas but can be replicated elsewhere. WRT education officers visit the school and link the local river to the national curriculum with fun activities and a river visit (if within walking distance). This is followed up by a day trip to a tributary of the Wear in the countryside. The children experience differences in the setting, size and flow of the river and the wildlife. An adventure and an educational tool all in one. 

Stanley SuDS River Schools

Community Engagement / Educational Resources


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Check out our Gaunless REconnected education pack!

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Comming soon, our Stanley Suds Project education pack! Check back later….


Make your own pond