Environment Agency Wales’ Salmon Homecoming project finished a fantastic second place in the Education category at the prestigious Waterways Renaissance Awards in Liverpool.
The project has worked with more than 1,300 primary school children in the South Wales valleys teaching them about the life cycle of the Atlantic salmon.
For the past six years, small-scale salmon hatcheries have been set up in classrooms where pupils care for salmon eggs until they hatch. These are then moved to the Cynrig hatchery to grow until ready for release. The children visit the hatchery for a tour and to see salmon in different life stages, along with many of the salmon’s natural predators. They then collect the fish that were hatched in their school and take them back to their local river for release.
Environment Agency Wales has been working in partnership with local angling groups and schools to introduce the children to fishing.
Chris Rees, Fisheries Team Leader, Environment Agency Wales said:
“I am absolutely thrilled that this important project has been recognised by the Waterways Renaissance Awards.
“Our staff are dedicated to this project and take real pride in their work with the children. The team fully deserve this award and I’m proud of them for doing so well.
“All of the schools we have worked with so far have found the Salmon Homecoming project an important part of their pupils’ education. The project grows year on year and getting this award is acknowledgement for the hard work of my team.”
Roger Hanbury, Chief Executive of The Waterways Trust, praised the Salmon Homecoming Project and the hard work of the officers involved. He said:
“The Salmon Homecoming project is an excellent example of what can be achieved with vision, commitment and partnership working. The modern renaissance of our waterways continues to transform our natural environment, creating education and learning opportunities, injecting new life into formerly neglected areas and bringing communities together.”