Project information

The Trout in the Classroom Project

This project teaches children about the outdoors indoors. Children in the four London Boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth learn about their local river, the Wandle, by raising wild brown trout from eggs to swim-up fry in a specially adapted aquarium in their classroom.

September 2010 - July 2011

Charity information

Wandle Trust

Wandle Trust logo
  • Need


    In the London boroughs of Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth, through which the river Wandle flows above ground, many people’s perception of their local waterway is that of a polluted, neglected and dangerous place. The Wandle runs through an urban catchment of up to a million people and is, therefore, full of rubbish dumped by some members of the local community and, sadly, in some cases, by younger members of the community.


    The Trout in the Classroom project is a hands-on activity that gives young people the chance to learn about their river and wetland wildlife. In this case they learn about wild brown trout, their lifecycle and their need for clear, fast flowing water, clean spawning gravel and good habitat. It helps them make the link between it and the young native brown trout that they have so carefully nurtured. We know that by being involved they will be less inclined to throw rubbish into the river.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To teach children and young people the benefit of a healthy river and the need to take care of it


    » Place specialist equipment in 20 schools in the Wandle valley – 5 schools in each of the London boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth.

    Success will be noticeably less rubbish in the river Wandle, as the Trout in the Classroom project impacts on the children, their parents, siblings, teachers and friends

  • Impact


    Our project will change young people’s perceptions of their local river and environment leading to more care being taken of it by them, their children and grandchildren. The river banks will be litter free and the river will have good water quality due to the absence of toxic substances in it, allowing wildlife to thrive


    The risks are equipment breakdown, aquarium breakages, water contamination leading to fish eggs or fry perishing.

    We will have in stock spare equipment including water filters to keep the water clean. We will deliver replacement eggs/fish if they die


    We will report to donors via a special page on our website and our newsletter – Wandle News – which is published twice a year.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £30,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £19,500 Human resources Operational costs to maintain a dedicated project manager who will liaise with the 20 participating
      £10,500 Specialist equipment 20 aquariums, chillers, associated equipment and teaching packs
  • Background


    Our project takes place in the London boroughs of Croydon, Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth. The river Wandle is underground in Croydon – it will be brought back to the surface by 2012 – and flows above ground in Sutton, Merton and Wandsworth where it joins the Thames. There are about a million people in the Wandle catchment.


    Children and young people who attend primary, secondary and independent schools, faith schools and private schools; children with profound learning difficulties, those who are hearing and visually impaired and those at pupil referral units who have been excluded from mainstream education.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    The Wandle Trust was the very first organisation that enabled children to hatch native brown trout in their own classroom in 2001, and with nearly a decade’s experience we are now national leaders in this project

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Gideon Reeve

    Project Manager