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Showing posts from August, 2009

Mayflies revisited

This summer saw the first running of “Mayfly in the Classroom” at Brantwood School in Sheffield. I was so impressed by the Year 8 pupils (and their teachers, Mrs. Skidmore and Mr. Jones) who got completely involved with the whole exercise. The beginning of the two-week experiment saw lots of puzzled faces (at what possible importance a lowly insect could have). Puzzlement was also followed by a certain degree of surprise that significant proportions of the lessons would be made up of what the pupils thought and felt about the issues raised. By starting with students collating and prioritising basic requirements for almost all life on the planet (oxygen, water, nutrition and shelter/habitat), we were then able to examine how the simple plastic aquaria (made from fizzy drinks bottles) supplied all these needs. This led on to the apparatus construction and the introduction of the nymphs to their new homes...
Throughout the experiment, students assumed the duty of care towards the insects.…

SPRITE talks to David Blunkett about project support

John Blewitt and David Blunkett (photo date not to be trusted!)
Last week, Kath and John Blewitt hosted a visit from Mr. Blunkett at their home in order to talk about the work that SPRITE are currently doing - and plans for the future. The potential to involve Sheffield College with their local section of the River Don, as well as finding support and resources to tackle hotspots of fly-tipping were discussed. Both SPRITE and Trout in the Town welcome further developments in both of these areas. Since the areas of the river that SPRITE have taken responsibility for incorporate several constituencies, it is hoped that similar support can be generated across relevant parties and councillors.

Triumphant Urban river Conclave

Along with generously contributed sponsorship from the Environment Agency, the WTT’s “Trout in the Town” project sponsored and hosted a fantastic conference over the weekend of 1st and 2nd August 2009. Participants and presenters gathered from across the UK in order to:
• Share innovative approaches between practitioners
• Receive and provide expert technical and practical guidance
• Foster support and networking between projects
• Generate and spread “Best Practice” for urban river conservation Most participants arrived on the Friday night and took advantage of the conference venue accommodation. This allowed for one or two well-earned drinks at the end of the “normal working week”. Little did they know the rigours awaiting them over the next two days.
Proceedings were kicked off on Saturday morning by Stuart Crofts’ inspirational account of the battle for South Yorkshire’s River Don, fought since the 1970’s by himself and several other key figures including Chris Firth and Gerald Stocks. …