Save the Mimram gets support from schools

Left Oaklands School Head teacher Mrs Julia Hume, Joe Thompson, Morgan Williamson, Gracie O'Dell, Ni

Left Oaklands School Head teacher Mrs Julia Hume, Joe Thompson, Morgan Williamson, Gracie O'Dell, Nicole Edwards, Isobel Donnolly Right St John's C of E School L-R Janelle Oguchi, Annabelle Tobin, Molly Gray, Shayne Patswold, Leon Blackwell and Year 6 Class Teacher Miss Daniella Lissner Back Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust David Cheek & Charlie Bell Next to the Mimram river - Credit: Archant

PUPILS from two schools have joined forces in a bid to save a much-loved river.

Youngsters from Oaklands Primary and St John’s in Digswell visited the Mimram and learned how it could be sustained.

David Cheek, of Friends of The Mimram and Charlie Bell, living rivers officer from the Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, shared their expertise with the children and explained about what issues were currently threatening the river.

Mr Cheek said: “Basically we were explaining to the children how the Mimram is one of 200 chalk streams in the world.

“It is extremely rare and it is right at the back of their [St John’s] school.”

The pupils from St John’s signed up to be river wardens and they will make reports about their findings.

Mr Cheek said: “It was a lovely morning and the children really engaged with it.

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“We had some really great feedback.”

One issue the two river experts wanted to make the youngsters aware of was saving water.

They said people in Herts used more than we had readily available it was important reductions were made where possible.

“We told them ways about saving water we said even just showering for a minute less helps,” Mr Cheek added.

Ms Bell took pupils to the river so they could examine it closely and look at what types of fish currently swim there.

The students were told about the effects of pollution and explored issues around the ownership of the Black Fan Lagoon in Welwyn Garden City. There are concerns about ‘polluted’ water from the lagoon getting into the Mimram.

Pupils came up with their own ideas about how to track down the owner and how to clean it up.

Julie Petitt, deputy head of Oaklands, said: “The partnership of working with local schools, associations and professional bodies on important community matters is essential for building skills that enhance our already rich curriculum and prepare the children to be responsible, forward-thinking citizens of the future.

“They are really excited about it. It is their river and their children’s river to enjoy if they can help save it.”

The next step for the youngsters is to write letters to the local MP Grant Shapps and Affinity Water.

? The WHT has been backing campaigns to prevent over extraction from the river at the pumping station in Welwyn.