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Water quality lessons with Astley Primary

Children from Astley Primary School have been working with older pupils from Greshams School on a project run by Dr. Ben Aldiss called Cascade. The project is funded by The Fishmongers Company and the aim is to provide Greshams pupils to teach the local schools all about their local river, “cascading” their knowledge into the wider community. The local schools initially have some classroom lessons to teach them all about the invertebrates that indicate the water quality and  then they visit the river to conduct some sampling, using ecological sampling methods, identify the invertebrates and input the data into a water sampling database.

The session with Astley on Friday at Glandford Ford was the highlight of the year! The kick sampling produced some excellent finds, including a variety of Mayfly nymphs, Banded Demoiselle nymphs, freshwater Shrimp, Blackfly larvae, Biting midge larvae and snails. The children used hand lenses and were guided by the Greshams pupils to enable to them to use a key to identify the invertebrates. Despite it being cold, the children were wholly absorbed in the sampling and identification!  When it was time to pack up and leave, there were a number of grumbles and sad faces, but Mr. Dart cheered them up by awarding house points to those with dry socks. Needless to say, there weren’t many…


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