Education

Education

The Spey Foundation and the Spey Fishery Board actively supports education projects at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Educational activities include the “Salmon go to School” project, student projects and work placements. Study visits are also welcomed to the river and the Boards various facilities’.

These activities are usually managed through the Spey Foundation, if you would like more information, please contact Polly Burns, by calling 01340 810841, or send an email to p.burns@speyfisheryboard.com.

Primary Schools

The “Salmon in the Classroom” project has proved to be very popular with local primary schools. Pupils in participating schools receive a presentation on the River Spey which includes details of the fish species present, the life cycle of the Salmon and its importance to the local economy. Pupils are then provided with a classroom hatchery and some salmon eggs and encouraged to look after them until they hatch. This part of the project culminates with the release of fry by the the pupils into a nearby burn. After allowing the fry to feed in the burn for a few months, we return to electrofish the burn to see how much the fish have grown and changed!

Along with ‘Salmon in the Classroom’, the ‘Pearls in the Classroom’ education programme is part of the project, Pearls in Peril, which aims to increase awareness and help to protect the endangered Freshwater Pearl Mussel, of which the Spey has one of the largest remaining populations. Pupils have the opportunity to learn about the Pearl mussels, what their threats are and how they might be able to make a difference.

The lessons on mink and other non-native species on the Spey are important for drawing attention to the problems these species cause, and what can be done to help limit the spread. Schools have been given mink rafts to monitor for both mink and other native wildlife on their local river.

Invertebrate sampling is a fun, outdoor based lesson, where the pupils have a great excuse to get their wellies on and get into the river! They learn the basic techniques involved in sampling invertebrates and get the chance to practice their identification techniques and see how healthy their local river is.

To supplement these initiatives the Spey Foundation can also provide the a Riverbank Resource Box which is packed with useful information and media on the Spey and rivers in general. Books, lesson plans, DVDs and sampling equipment are all included. Any primary schools within Speyside that wish to become involved should contact Polly Burns, tel 01340 810841, p.burns@speyfisheryboard.com.

Secondary Schools

For pupils at secondary school, we will happily contribute to lessons in relevant subjects to our work, with the aim of adding a new aspect to learning and giving real examples of where classroom learning can be applied in the field.

Work experience placements are offered to local secondary school pupils. Pupils can expert to gain experience of fisheries survey techniques as well as data collection and analysis. In recent years pupils from Grantown Grammar School, Kingussie High School, Speyside High School, Forres Academy, Nairn Academy, Lossiemouth High School, and Buckie Academy have joined the Spey staff for one-week placements. For further information contact the office on 01340 810841 or admin@speyfisheryboard.com.

Student Projects and Work Experience

The Spey Foundation regularly support student projects and work experience placements. Students from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Napier, Northumbria Univ and the Open University have completed projects in the past across a range of fishery related topics and levels including, Diploma, BSc, MSc and PhD levels. Students from DeMontford University and Sparsholt have also enjoyed work experience placements.

Any students interested in developing projects or seeking work placements should contact the office on 01340 810841 or admin@speyfisheryboard.com.