At Beechwood we are always doing something interesting, previously it was the Titanic however this time we wanted to do something more hands on!
Today we are helping to save the River Kennet, supported by Ark – a charity dedicated fighting water pollution. Children in year 3/4 have been given the task of hatching 120 trout eggs, and in the process also finding out where our food comes from.
In the wild just 1 out of 100 eggs survive predators and pollution to become an adult fish, so it is not an easy task for any budding Nemo’s! Children have to understand the importance of keeping the water (and rivers!) clean, otherwise our fish wouldn’t survive. They also need to carefully monitor the temperature (fish don’t like hot showers, but prefer a rather chilly 10 degrees!), and the tank must stay dark and calm.
(Young fish are the shy retiring types – and normally hatch under stones away from currents and sunlight).
At first several eggs didn’t survive and had to be carefully removed, however under the children’s careful watch over 50 eggs have hatched, and are now wriggling around eating their egg sacks. Exciting news but it is not over yet as tomorrow we need to start feeding them to help them grow into a young fish that can survive in the wild.
By the time we let them go into the wild they will be 10cm long, and will eventually grow to be over 3 times that size!
So tomorrow when you are having dinner, think of the struggles your poor fish has endured to make it to your plate!
It has been a great experience for the children to see the changes and the stages on the life cycle of a trout and how hard it is for some creatures to survive if we don’t look after their environment. We are planning to release them back into the river in around 6 weeks to increase the declining number of fish in the river.
Stay tuned for more (older!) fish tales!
View ARK’s website at www.riverkennet.org