Using the local natural environment the ART team will take outdoor learning into new exciting realms. Five primary school classes in the South Carrick area will participate in learning about the food webs surrounding their school over 3 days. Learning about the river environment and the animals that live in and around rivers, pupils will have the opportunity to survey fish and aquatic bugs, track mammals using footprint ID and remote wildlife cameras. And after having identified and learned about the animals that use and live in river corridors help improve the local area by planting trees, building and fitting bird boxes.
Through this project the ART team will show the pupils the different species of fish and invertebrate found in their local watercourses using these species as examples to assess the health of the burn or river. The pupils will have the opportunity to collect an invertebrate sample from their river. Taking that sample back to the classroom the pupils will become ‘young biologists’ for the afternoon, identifying and learning about aquatic bugs and beasts using microscopes. Using the pupil’s findings ART will discuss how to improve the river environment for the animals that they found and saw whilst at the river that morning.
Through this project pupils will have contributed to reducing the impacts of climate change, increasing woodland area and biodiversity as well as helping stabilise river banks and provide nesting opportunities for birds. Trees and tree planting materials will all be obtained from local suppliers, which should help to retain businesses and skills in the local area. Purchasing tree stock locally helps reduce biosecurity issues that can occur when transporting plants from out with the local area and helps ensure integrity of tree provenance.