Essex school children discover the importance of the Thames Estuary

Photo: Amy Lewis

4,000 local school children took part in Essex Wildlife Trust’s workshop this year

Essex Wildlife Trust has been delivering marine workshops to schools in the North Thames Estuary, from Thurrock to Shoeburyness, in order to educate and inspire local children about the wonders of the Thames Estuary.

Milton Hall School, Woodside Primary, Stifford Clay Primary and Bournes Green Infants are among the Essex schools to have taken part in the ‘Under the Sea’ workshops as part of the project funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.

The workshops introduce the children to their local estuary, allowing children to discover what wildlife can be found living in it and what local fisheries and industry use it for. The tailored workshops include demonstrations of food web activities and examples of fishing gear to highlight some of the marine issues the Thames faces, so the children gain a better understanding of how they can help protect it.

Recent studies have shown that the Thames Estuary has an abundance of wildlife, from seahorses to a growing seal population, sharks to starfish. By the end of 2019, 4,000 local school children will have learnt all about the wildlife that lives within this fascinating habitat.

The Thames Estuary is such an important place for wildlife and people; these workshops allow us to deliver valuable education activities to local children, raise awareness and rekindle that connection! It’s been fantastic to see how excited the children are to learn about what lives on their doorstep, many of them had no idea the Thames has seahorses or sharks living in it, so we’re hoping they’ll be proud of their local environment and want to help protect it.