New River Education Sessions 

Tracy Standish

Rivers are the lifeblood of the landscape. They are an important habitat for wildlife and an essential resource for people – we all need to use water wisely as it’s such an essential resource.

Saving water to protect our precious environment will be the central message of a new, funded, education session available to primary schools in the Southern Water supply area from September onwards.

Schools are being invited to sign up for these free outdoor education sessions under a new programme called ‘Our River, Our Water’. This project is a partnership between Southern Water and the Rivers Trusts South East, charities which work to ensure all life can thrive in and around our rivers. Southern Water is working with these Rivers Trusts to spread the water saving message.

We will be delivering our inspiring and hands-on sessions on the River Dun, a tributary of the River Test northwest of Romsey. Regarded as one of the finest chalk streams in the world and supporting a host of rich habitats and species, the Test winds its way through rural Hampshire before flowing into the Solent.

The national curriculum linked sessions will highlight that the southeast of England is water stressed. The area has less rainfall each year, yet demand for water is increasing, as the population grows and the climate continues to change.

Children will learn that the water we use in our daily lives is taken from the local environment, which leaves less water for our vital river habitats. Through the sessions, they will learn to appreciate the value of our rivers, how to save water and engage with our river wildlife in a fun and hands-on way through outdoor activities including river dipping.

Sessions can be differentiated between key stage 1 and key stage 2 classes and the activities link to a range of curriculum subjects including rivers, living things and their habitats, my local area and humans and the environment. Pupils will receive follow-up resources for the classroom and a leaflet to take home so they can share their learnings there too.

Dave Rumble, Wessex Rivers Trust CEO, said: “Rivers and their wildlife have become deeply appreciated by so many new people over the last couple of years, yet our rivers remain vulnerable. We look forward to working with our partners to inspire schoolchildren and equip them to be ambassadors for positive change.”

Justine Lewis, Water Efficiency Officer at Southern Water, said: “Southern Water is excited about launching this new and exciting school education programme with the Rivers Trusts within our operational areas. Southern Water is supporting the Our River, Our Water campaign and asking children to think about and look after where their water comes from.”

To book or enquire about sessions taking place from September onwards, contact Tracy Standish at Wessex Rivers Trust at