Meet the Water Detectives
On 24th October, the Deputy Governor and Secretary played host at Cutts House to a group of 47 ‘Water Detectives’ – pupils from Carnalridge and St Patricks Primary Schools in Portrush - taking part in the River Bann Schools project being run by the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust.
Their task for the day was to investigate the importance of water and more specifically if and why the River Bann is important in terms of geography, history, biodiversity, commerce, tourism, leisure, sport. Having taken part in an earlier workshop (17th October) each pupil was issued with a detective journal to record their findings on the 24th – through asking questions, taking notes, drawing pictures and diagrams, taking photographs and gathering evidence. And it is intended that the information collected will be used in school to produce scrapbooks, a newsletter, a notice board montage, a school website page and/or to initiate discussion workshops.
Two media students from the University of Ulster in Coleraine also joined the group as part of their course placement to document the river journey. Their short video will be used as an educational resource in the schools and on the Causeway Coast & Glens Heritage Trust website.
Two of the Irish Society’s Fishery Protection Officers presented in full patrol dress, fully equipped with night-sights and the patrol and rescue boat on its trailer, to answer questions. Mark Patterson, who delivers the Hatchery in the Classroom project for the Society, was in attendance to talk about the life-cycle of salmon. We were also privileged to have Cllr Sam Cole (Mayor of Coleraine) join, together with the Coleraine Chronicle.
Following a brief tour of Cutts House to discover the Society’s history, the Deputy Governor presented a cheque for £300 towards the branded Water Detective hats the schoolchildren were wearing – which had been awarded by the Local Advisory Committee the previous day.
Carole O'Kane, CC&GHT Corporate Services Manager, sent a “really big Thanks to all of you who contributed to making our River Bann investigation such a huge success”. Having gone through over 1,000 photos and re-living the whole experience, she was clear that everyone had enjoyed each and every site visit – commenting that “the entire day was successful, informative, safe, memorable and best of all FUN!” She also praised the Water Detectives’ presentations, which she considered to be “brilliant - kept short, child-friendly and relevant”.
She concluded by saying “huge thanks must go to The Honourable The Irish Society for their very kind donation and for their hospitality on the day. What a start to the event!”.