Schools get stuck in to River Wear litter survey

Schools get stuck in to River Wear litter survey

In the last few weeks local schools have been getting involved with our River Wear Plastics Project.

As part of our 'Source to Sea' project, which is looking at plastics in the River Wear, scientists from Teesside University have been working with Durham Wildlife Trust to collect water samples from the River Wear, which will be analysed for microplastics.

As well as this, the project is also looking at any larger plastics that may be around, within and beside the river channel and local school children are helping us to gather this data.  

The first part of the school involvement in this project was for them to access our free online 'Source to Sea' education resource pack - which can be found by clicking the link below - in order to explore the route of the River Wear and the issue of plastic pollution, much of which originates in rivers.  Next, it was time to head out to the river and carry out some field work.  

Living Uplands - Education Packs 

On the 24th September Durham Wildlife Trust's Rachel Richards met with 15 enthusiastic Key Stage 2 children from Wearhead Primary.

Rachel said: "Equipped with clipboards, warm clothes, boots and gloves the group headed down the road to a gravel bar in the River Wear, where we marked out our survey area. Many hands and sharp eyes made light work of searching and collecting all non-natural materials found beside the river and recording any finds, depending on the material and its origin.  

"Though the upper reaches of the wear are a beautiful and relatively pristine area, we never-the-less found scraps of black plastic, carrier bags, crisp packets, plastic clothes pegs and an assortment of old metal farm waste. The children have now been tasked with presenting their findings in a report which we look forward to reading." 

Over the coming weeks the Trust will be meeting more schools between Wearhead and Chester-le-Street to repeat the litter survey as the project moves from 'Source to Sea'. 

Schools are invited to take a look at the resources, which are free for all, and get in touch if they would like to get involved.

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