Legal staff help charity to bring rivers to life for pupils

Bringing rivers to life for 3,000 children over a year is the target of the Wye and Usk Foundation, which has just been given a £1,500 donation by law firm Harrison Clark Rickerbys’ charitable foundation.

The donation supports the work of Colette Mooney, head of education at the charity, who spends her time visiting primary and secondary schools along the River Usk and the River Wye through Wales and into Herefordshire, teaching pupils about their local rivers and their role in the environment.

She said: “We want children to understand that where they live is special; that they can experience amazing wildlife and enjoy the wonders of nature that are close to them. This donation makes a massive difference; it will help me to get out into more schools so that they see the importance of the river in their own area.”

Colette starts her sessions by drawing the river on the school playground. The children imagine they are salmon fry trying to survive natural and manmade threats as they travel down the river. Colette brings the river into schools and the children use digital microscopes to investigate water samples and the creatures they contain. The salmon, which needs clean water to thrive, is a key part of her work – she said: “Children love finding out about the salmon, especially making and wearing salmon hats so that they look like salmon; it brings the river to life for them!”

Dawn Oliver of the HCR Charitable Foundation said: “The Wye and Usk Foundation is doing great work in highlighting the importance of the rivers wherever they flow – I’m delighted that we can support their work with children in Wales and into Herefordshire.”