1) Cover any cuts or grazes with waterproof tape (to prevent the risk of infection from waterborne disease – see the ROSPA website for more information).
2) Only enter water where we can see to the bottom (in case there are sharp or dangerous objects under the water.
3) Test the depth of the water and the firmness of the riverbed with the end of our nets before stepping in it.
4) Only enter water below welly boot height.
5) Always stay where another member of the group can see you.
We made our way along the riverbank keeping our eyes peeled for signs of life in the water. Akasha spotted some small creatures moving around and managed to fish them out. We believe they may be some form of freshwater shrimp. For more information on freshwater habitats, visit the Freshwater Habitats Trust website. As we continued to walk, Aroona recognised wild garlic growing with its unmistakably pungent aroma. We were also able to see tracks in the soft mud of animals that had visited the water.
On this occasion, we did not find any fish in the water so we considered why this may be. Perhaps the water wasn’t deep enough for them to survive, perhaps they were hiding from us or maybe the water quality wasn’t good enough. Birch group are due to visit Yorkshire Water in a few weeks time with their class, so maybe they will be able to find out more about water quality and water habitats during their visit.