Schools invited to explore Lincolnshire’s rare chalk streams

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The Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project is offering to take school groups out to explore Lincolnshire’s rare chalk streams.

Thanks to funding from Natural England, pupils will have the chance to discover at first hand the wildlife in this unique environment by ‘stream dipping’ for essential invertebrates that form the base of a river’s special ecosystem.

Will Bartle, monitoring officer, said: “This is a great opportunity for pupils to explore chalk streams, a rare habitat found only in a few places in the UK. Just some of the wildlife we’d expect them to see include freshwater shrimps and different types of mayfly larvae, these are particularly good indicators of water quality.

“They could also see fish such as brown trout and bullheads, and other creatures such as crayfish.

“Our offer to schools ends in July, so I’d encourage them to book soon.”

Primary school groups will be able to take part in a classroom-based experiment to study the life cycle of mayflies using simple equipment, while secondary school pupils will be taught how to survey and identify invertebrates using a standardised survey method.

All the necessary equipment (including nets, trays and ID guides) will be provided through the funding from Natural England. The funding also allows the Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project to provide transport to and from a suitable location if needed.

The activities will be led by staff from the Lincolnshire Chalk Streams project and are suitable for whole class groups, of up to 30 children.

The visits will last a morning, leaving after lunch and there is potential for a follow up presentation at the classroom.

The activities meet several areas of the national curriculum for Key stages 1&2 (Primary) and Key stages 3&4 (Secondary + GCSE) in Geography and Science.

If you are interested in the project, or would like the Lincolnshire Chalk Streams Project to come and talk to your school, then contact Will Bartle by email at William.bartle@lincolnshire.gov.uk or by phoning 01522 555783.