Fishy business at Lealholm School

Salmon release at Lealholm School
Salmon release at Lealholm School

SOMETHING fishy has been going on at Lealholm Primary School.

Prior to the start of the summer holidays pupils released salmon into the River Esk which they had reared in their own classrooms.

Salmon release at Lealholm School

Salmon release at Lealholm School

It was part of a project organised by the National Park Authority in partnership with Jetset Trout in the Classroom UK and the Environment Agency.

The idea was to get children to learn about river ecology and the salmon lifecycle.

A hatchery tank was installed in the entrance hall and salmon eggs, taken from River Esk salmon, were introduced.

Once they had hatched into aelvins they were monitored and looked after by the children as they grew into small salmon before being released.

The young environmentalists were also taught about work the National Park Authority and its partner agencies are doing to improve conditions in the River Esk for the threatened freshwater pearl mussel which depends on salmon (and trout) as hosts for its larvae.

This is the third year the project has taken place. Danby school took part last year and Castleton the year before.

Sue Wilkinson, the National Park Authority’s Education Manager, said: “The fish hatchery is a fantastic teaching resource and we hope to work our way downstream and install it in a different school in the Esk Valley each year.

“It provides a great opportunity to teach children about wildlife that they might not otherwise see and the need to care for the environment.”