Pupils at Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn, Bala will learn about the life cycle of trout.

National Park Authority wardens based at Llyn Tegid have established a temporary fish hatchery at school as part of the LIFE Dee River project. Once big enough, fry will be released into Bala’s Afon Tryweryn, which joins the River Dee. A second hatchery will be set up and supervised by the Wardens at their Llyn Tegid centre, from where live footage of the hatchery will be streamed on the National Park Authority’s website so that schools from all over the country can benefit from this unique project. Additionally, an educational pack full of activities is available.

The classroom hatchery - part of the LIFE Dee River project - is led by Natural Resources Wales and now in its fourth year. The project has made significant progress across the Dee catchment to remove barriers to fish migration, improve farming and forestry practices, and enhance the river’s habitat for the benefit of a wide range of species including salmon, lamprey and freshwater pearl mussels. Over the last few months, the project has undertaken work in the Bala area to restore the river below Llyn Tegid, after historical alterations of dredging and straightening the river had led to the loss of important fish habitat. This work will vastly improve the habitat for all fish species, as well as invertebrates and the wider ecosystem.

Arwel Morris, Llyn Tegid and Area Warden said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to learn first-hand about the life cycle of trout. By rolling up their sleeves to prepare the hatchery, looking after the eggs and visiting Afon Tryweryn to release the small fish, we hope the experience will lead to an appreciation of the importance of looking after river environments and spark an interest in wildlife in general.”

Joel Rees-Jones, LIFE Dee River Project Manager said: “We are really pleased Eryri National Park are returning with the classroom hatchery to Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn. Giving school children the opportunity to see trout hatching in their classroom will ensure a better understanding of local rivers and the positive impact humans can have on the survival of iconic species like trout and salmon.”

Sara Morris from Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn said: “Pupils have shown an interest in this project from the very beginning. Arwel and Simon from Eryri National Park came to help set up the hatchery and observed them introducing 250 trout eggs into it. They’re keeping a close eye on them daily, and look forward to seeing them hatch and develop. This is a very real experience of learning about the life cycle of fish that live in our local rivers.”