A view of the Mawddach Estuary on a clear spring day with woodland lining the shores.
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With assistance from the National Park Authority’s Warden team and a special fish hatchery project, pupils at Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn, Y Bala will be given the opportunity to learn about the life cycle of trout.

 Over the coming weeks, our Wardens based at Llyn Tegid will work with Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn, Y Bala to establish a temporary fish hatchery at the school as part of the LIFE Dee River project.  Establishing a hatchery and looking after the fish eggs as they hatch and develop into fry will give pupils a fantastic opportunity to roll up their sleeves and learn about the life cycle of fish and river ecology. After hatching, the fry will remain in the hatchery until they are big enough to be released into Afon Tryweryn, which joins the River Dee in Y Bala.

A second hatchery will be set up and supervised by the Wardens at their Llyn Tegid centre, from where live footage of the hatchery will be streamed on the National Park Authority’s website so that schools from all over the country can benefit from this unique project. Additionally, an educational pack full of activities is available.

The classroom hatchery forms part of the LIFE Dee River project, led by Natural Resources Wales, which is now in its fourth year. By working in partnership with local communities and landowners, the project has made significant progress across the Dee catchment to remove barriers to fish migration, improve farming and forestry practices, and enhance the river’s habitat for the benefit of a wide range of species including salmon, lamprey and freshwater pearl mussels. Over the last few months, the project has undertaken work in the Bala area to restore the river below Llyn Tegid, after historical alterations of dredging and straightening the river had led to the loss of important fish habitat. This recent restoration work will vastly improve the habitat for all fish species, as well as invertebrates and the wider ecosystem.

Arwel Morris, Llyn Tegid and Area Warden said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity for pupils to learn first-hand about the life cycle of trout. By rolling up their sleeves to prepare the hatchery, looking after the eggs and visiting Afon Tryweryn to release the small fish, we hope that the experience will lead to an appreciation of the importance of looking after river environments and spark an interest in wildlife in general.”

Joel Rees-Jones, LIFE Dee River Project Manager said:

“Continuing their role as a coordinating beneficiary to the LIFE Dee River project, we are really pleased Eryri National Park are again returning with the classroom hatchery to Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn. Giving local school children the opportunity to see trout hatching in their classroom will ensure a better understanding of their local rivers and the positive impact humans can have on the survival of iconic species like trout and salmon”.

Sara Morris, Head of Phase 1 at Ysgol Godre’r Berwyn said:

“The pupils have shown an interest in this project from the very beginning. Arwel and Simon from Eryri National Park came to help the pupils set up the hatchery and observed them introducing two hundred and fifty trout eggs into the hatchery. They’re keeping a close eye on them daily, and look forward to seeing them hatch and develop. This is a very real experience of learning about the life cycle of fish that live in our local rivers.”


Notes to editors

  1. Live streams, video diaries and further information can be found here.
  2. The National Park Authority’s Warden Service is leading on the hatchery project as part of its commitment to Natural Resources Wales’ LIFE Dee River project. More information about the aims and objectives of this project can be found here – Natural Resources Wales / LIFE Dee River
  3. For more information or to arrange an interview contact Gwen Aeron Edwards – Planning and Land Management Communications officer on gwen.aeron@eryri.llyw.cymru or 01766 770 274