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Fishing fun for the Ribble Valley’s future anglers

Local primary schools have once again been taking part in exciting ‘Introduction to Fishing’ sessions with the Ribble Rivers Trust.

Pupils learning about fishing on the Ribble
Pupils learning to fish on the banks of the river Ribble

Pupils from St Mary’s, Chipping and Brennand’s Endowed, Slaidburn have also been busy learning about rivers and their local environment in the outdoor education sessions. The schools fished from the banks of the River Ribble close to the Aspinall Arms at Mitton. The popular gastro pub generously provided facilities for pupils, teachers, and the Ribble Rivers Trust team.

These pupils aren’t just learning to fish. As part of the programme, pupils are also taking part in practical conservation activities. These include brash bundling, which involves repairing damaged and eroded riverbanks with natural material, and riverside tree planting.

Some time ago the Hodder Consultative (an organisation made up of representatives from all the fishing clubs that fish the River Hodder) noticed that their membership numbers were declining. So, they took a proactive approach and decided to promote angling to younger people and recruit younger members. To do this they partnered with us because of our proven track record of recruiting young people into fishing.

One pupil shows her catch
One pupil shows her catch

It is hoped some of the pupils, and their families and friends, will take up angling and join local clubs.

Like all Ribble Rivers Trust’s education programmes, Introduction to Fishing is specially designed to fit within the National Curriculum. It also help pupils with their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development. The ultimate aim is to spark a passion for the environment and a lifelong love of the outdoors.

Education sessions like this have been at the heart of the Trust’s work for over two decades. Starting with ‘Trout in the Classroom’, an activity involving schools rearing Trout from eggs to fry in their classroom before releasing them into their local river. The education programme has now expanded to involve a wide range of sessions. These include water safety, wildlife conservation and environmental education. Plus, there are also workshops that encourage children to explore the link between the outdoors and their health.

One teacher says “It’s so relaxing sitting here by the river and listening to the water. This is a great activity for them [the pupils], they really enjoyed it the first time and were so excited to do it again.”.

Neil Ashworth, Education Officer and lead Angling Coach, states  “It’s great to see angling clubs engaging with younger people to promote the wonderful sport of fishing. More than ever, during the pandemic, the benefits to people of getting outside, near to running water, observing wildlife close up, and becoming lost in a challenge with wild creatures has never been more important.”.

Ribble Rivers Trust work with schools, communities, and businesses across Lancashire and North Yorkshire. Our aim is to educate and engage with people that live, work, and spend time in Lancashire’s beautiful green spaces.

The Trust also work with many fishing clubs throughout their catchment. Anglers often act as first responders to issues with rivers and report issues that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

For more information on fishing Ribble Valley, and beyond, click here and visit the Angling Trust website, or click here for more information on Ribble Rivers Trust’s fishing beats.