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Project information

ARK Trout in school

ARK Trout in school enables children to raise brown trout from tiny eggs to little fish, ready for release into the River Kennet.
During the project children learn about river ecosystems, the life cycle of brown trout, and the importance of a healthy environment for wildlife.

November 2010 - April 2011

Charity information: Action for the River Kennet

Action for the River Kennet logo
  • Need


    The River Kennet should be a crystal clear, fast flowing chalkstream. However pressures from abstraction, pollution and urbanisation have left it slow-flowing and litter-strewn, particularly in towns. As a result the river is undervalued as a natural resource and often neglected.


    Children are able to engage with the river in a hands-on way. They care for eggs and young trout in specially adapted aquariums and have to pay great attention to water quality and temperature to be successful. This gives them a clear understanding of the importance of clean, fast flowing water in the river. They visit the river to learn about the fishes' natural habitat and once their baby fish are released into the river, the children are more likely to care for the river.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Run the ARK Trout in School project in 4 classrooms in the Kennet Valley


    » Purchase new equipment and service existing equipment ready for trout eggs.
    » Visit schools to set up tanks, explain how to look after the eggs and fish and deliver teaching packs to school staff.
    » Organise two field trips to the river to investigate the trouts' natural habitat during the project, and again to release the fish at the end.
    » Organise a field trip to a trout hatchery to learn about the role of fishing in the local economy and landscape.

    What success will look like

    Success will be 120 children and their families being engaged in caring for brown trout and learning about their local river.

  • Impact


    Our project will bring about greater care for the River Kennet, a better understanding of the value of water as a resource, and an increased interest in local wildlife. We hope to see a new generation of children who use water wisely, understanding that it is a limited resource; who care for their river and don't use it to dispose of litter and effluents, and who value the wildlife in their local landscape.


    There is a risk of equipment failure or poor care of fish resulting in the fish perishing. We deal with this risk by maintaining good supervision and support for the schools and by keeping a stock of spare parts. We are able to replace fish with new ones if a catastrophic event occurs.


    We will report to donors through the Action for the River Kennet newsletter and through a regularly updated page on our website.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £4,400

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,000 Specialist equipment Purchasing and servicing 4 fish tanks, chillers, filters and peripheral equipment.
      £400 teaching resources developing material to help teachers deliver key messages
      £2,000 staff time person to co-ordinate project
  • Background


    The River Kennet rises at Swallowhead Springs, near Avebury, Wiltshire and flows downstream through the towns of Marlborough, Hungerford and Newbury before reaching the Thames at Reading. The schools in the Kennet Valley can apply to be part of this project.


    The project will run in state primary schools, state secondary schools and private secondary schools, reaching a broad cross-section of the local community. Some of the students are in the 'access pathway' group, these are students who do not usually follow an academic career path.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Action for the River Kennet have been working on the river for 20 years. We have a good knowledge of the river and strong links with the local community, riparian owners and the fish hatchery who donate the eggs. We have been running the ARK Trout in School project successfully for four years.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Berkshire Trout Farm

    Micheal runs the local fish hatchery, he donates brown trout eggs, his expertise and oversees the students who visit his hatchery.

    Charlotte Hitchmough

    Charlotte has been coordinating this project for four years. She visits the schools, runs the field trips and provides support and advice to teachers.