Pupils At Local Schools Breed Trout

And release them into the River Wandle

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Wandsworth pupils who have been rearing brown trout in their classrooms as part of a hands-on educational project have now released them into the River Wandle.

Since January, children at five local schools have been looking after hatchlings - and they are now ready for a big celebration as they release the threatened species into the river with help from project coordinator the Wandle Trust.

The river was once a famous trout fishery but most of the life in the river died out over time due to pollution. In the 1960s the Wandle - a unique chalk stream - was officially declared a sewer.

However, its fortunes have turned around and it has now become a vibrant rich habitat due to better environmental regulation, a fish stocking programme and huge local enthusiasm.

Last year the Environment Agency named the Wandle one of its top 10 most improved rivers.

The Wandle Trust's educational programme, which has been running for more than a decade, will see banner-waving pupils wearing trout hats and masks visit Morden Hall Park to release the fish later this week.

The project is supported by the Western Riverside Environmental Fund while the Living Wandle scheme is backed by Thames Water.

The Wandsworth schools taking part are Burntwood School, Furzedown Primary School, Linden Lodge School, Sheringdale Primary School and Thomas's Clapham.

For more information call Wandle Trust trustee and Trout in the Classroom project director Gideon Reeve on 0207 801 0562.

April 1, 2012