Thanks to funding from the Big Lottery Fund Awards for All programme, BART spent the day with some very excited children from Chew Magna Primary School. The children couldn’t wait to get stuck in and find out which invetebrates were hiding beneath the waterline of their local river. Armed with nets and trays, the children learned how to take kick-samples from a small tributary of the River Chew and examined what they had found back in the classroom.

Learning how to take kick samples

 

Hunting for minibeasts

The children found a wealth of invetebrates, including burrowing mayflies, freshwater shrimps and cased caddies flies. They also learnt why it is important to know the range of species within our rivers, as it helps us to measure the health and quality of the river. The children were so excited to find so much life in their local stream! Hopefully this will spark the childrens’ interest in the environment, and encourage them to be the next generation of conservationists!

Using ID guides to identify invetebrates

 

Learning about the importance of healthy rivers

This work is part of a wider project – the Beneath the Waterline: Minibeast Citizen Science Project. As well as providing river dipping sessions all over the Bristol Avon catchment, through this project we will train more people as Riverfly monitors. Riverfly monitors are volunteers who take monthly samples from their local river and identify the invetebrates they find in order to determine river health. This helps to reveal any water quality issues before they become a severe problem. We are hoping to expand our network of volunteers who provide us with such valuable information by regularly monitoring the rivers in the Bristol Avon catchment. For more information about our Riverly monitors please click here.