Pupils to help restore life in our waterways

Schoolchildren will help to restore the River Went in Ackworth to its former glory.
Pupils: Lucy Roche, Jasmin Edwards and Evelyn Grace Salter.Pupils: Lucy Roche, Jasmin Edwards and Evelyn Grace Salter.
Pupils: Lucy Roche, Jasmin Edwards and Evelyn Grace Salter.

A project to increase the diversity of fish and invertebrate in the waterway and help Ackworth School pupils learn about the natural environment started this week.

The youngsters will work alongside the Environment Agency, Wild Trout Trust and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust to restore the natural sequence of deeper pools and shallow areas along a 500-metre stretch of the river, where it passes the school.

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These no longer exist due to the river being artificially widened and straightened in that section.

It used to get mine water flows from Sharlston colliery – but with its closure the end of the flows and the widened channel results in a uniform and very shallow water depth.

Regional manager for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Nick Simms said: “It is important that we inspire the younger generation to care for nature and this is the perfect way to do so, helping to ensure Yorkshire’s wildlife is protected for generations to come.”

The work is expected to take around three weeks.

Wild Trout Trust staff will train teachers in running the programme. Ackworth School will then monitor the river.