The Trout in Tanks project has proved highly stimulating for youngsters, and is run by Sheffield social enterprise the River Stewardship Company.
Within the scheme, primary schools are given trout eggs in specially-equipped tanks to nurture over several weeks.
From November each year children are taught about the fish and river environment, and they are responsible for the trouts’ survival until they are released into the River Don in the Spring.
“Our aim is to have a long-term impact on children, as well as educating them about the river environment and its wildlife,” said a project spokesman. “It really enthuses children and instils positive conservation attitudes. It also demonstrates how local habitats have improved with cleaner rivers helping to boost brown trout populations in Sheffield.”
The grant donor, Ernest Cook Trust, is one of the UK’s leading educational charities concerned with the conservation and management of the countryside. It owns and manages 22,000 acres of landed estates across five counties in England.
ECT encourages children and young people to learn from the land through educational opportunities on its estates and by giving grants. Each year its Trustees distribute £1.8m to education initiatives. The Trout in Tanks project received £7,500 this time.
Last year hundreds of brown trout were released in to the river Don by schoolchildren from Brightside Nursery and Infant School, Tinsley Juniors and Whiteways Primary School.
Hellen Hornby. community team manager at the River Stewardship Company said: “This project has been really successful in getting children involved and excited about the environment.”