Schoolchildren read a book about an adventurous salmon

Schools and Youth Groups

Nature and education go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise that working with schools, youth centres, and other education services is a vital part of what we do at The Rivers Trust.

Interacting with nature helps children and young people in all sorts of ways: it aids early development, boosts academic performance as well as physical and mental health, and it’s fun! It is also clear that positive engagement with nature in childhood makes us more likely to spend time in nature as an adult, where the benefits continue for people and nature alike.

Many of our local Member Trusts deliver cross-curricular educational activities and resources for schools and youth groups, and we are always keen to explore new opportunities and partnerships. We can work virtually, in the classroom, or out and about by the river itself. Whichever option you prefer, it’s inspiring young people to learn about, and with, rivers.

Our work with schools

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School children

14,410

School children engaged in 2020

Nature is for everyone

We want to nurture mutually beneficial relationships between children and the environment, because after all, they’re the scientists, politicians, and activists of the future. We also know that access to nature is not currently equal for young people, and we want to change that. As a movement, we are actively looking to contribute to initiatives which will bring nature to life for young people from disadvantaged or marginalised groups. If you’re interested in working with us, our inbox is always open.

Case studies

From the migratory patterns of trout and eels to mitigating flood risk by creating a rain garden, our local Trusts carry out all sorts of different schools and education projects every year. In fact, we worked with more than 14,000 school children in 2020.

Bristol Avon Rivers Trust: Eel in the Classroom

Reaching more than 8,000 children in the last six years, Eel in the Classroom teaches pupils about the iconic life journey of the European eel. Each glass had a tank of elvers to look after for a term, before releasing them back into the river to head to a safe spawning ground.

Schools Engagement with SuDS

Without a doubt, climate change is making our weather increasingly volatile and causing a domino effect of environmental problems. As towns and cities grow and more land is covered in concrete and tarmac, more and more pressure is put on our water system. Water runs off from these surfaces where, in the past, it would have been absorbed by soil and filtered as part of the natural water cycle. One way to try and improve this situation is by using Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, otherwise known as SUDS. South East Rivers Trust have been teaching school students all about this through their “SUDS in the classroom” project. Watch the video to hear from Charlene Duncan, SERT’s Education and Community Outreach Officer, on the initiative.

The Rivers Trust Schools Hub

Created during the first coronavirus lockdown, our Schools Hub has lots of free activities for children in Key Stages 1-5.