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Fishing For Knowledge

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Q. What is Fishing for Knowledge?

The Fishing for Knowledge project introduces children and young people from Dumfries and Galloway to the freshwater environment, its associated animal, plant life and angling in their local river catchment through a series of six tried and tested structured sessions with local schools and through Family Fishing Days open to the public.

The Project was set up by a partnership group comprising the Nith District Salmon Fishery Board, Annan District Salmon Fishery Board and Galloway Fishery Trust, Buccleuch Estate and the Catchment Management Planning Project and Solway Heritage.

Current funders are Scottish Natural Heritage, ‘LEADER Dumfries and Galloway’, Daiwa donated £1000 worth of fishing tackle and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association has matched that with a grant of £1000.

Solway Heritage coordinates the project and manages the finances.  The practical work on the ground is carried out by Borderlines, a not for profit company with the aim of removing as many barriers as possible for all groups of the population, allowing them to participate in angling along with in kind support from the District Salmon Fishery Boards and Buccleuch Estate.

So far more than 700 school children from 21 schools across Dumfries and Galloway have taken part becoming more aware of their local river catchments, the animal and plant life that they support.

Q. What are the Aims of the project?

The aims of the project are to introduce school children, young people and their families to plant, invertebrate and fish life in their own river catchments, it is hoped that by giving them ‘ownership’ of their own lochs, rivers and streams more young people would be encouraged to take a greater interest and pride in their local environment and heritage, as well as being given the opportunity to take up a hobby (angling) for life.

Practically every child in Dumfries and Galloway lives close to a watercourse of some sort but very few children nowadays would go out into the countryside to explore this environment; Fishing for Knowledge hopes to reconnect young people with their freshwater environment. 

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Q. What are the benefits of the project?

The project engages and enthuses children about nature on their own doorsteps. By using angling as the ‘hook’ to catch attention and by promoting active learning, allowing them to get their hands and feet wet, children’s knowledge and understanding of their local environment is greatly improved, inspiring them to respect and protect it.

Fishing for Knowledge links well with Curriculum for Excellence and its four capacities - to enable each child or young person to be a successful learner, a confident individual, a responsible citizen and an effective contributor.

As well as making a valuable contribution to many area’s of the Curriculum teachers noted that the project also benefitted the children's listening, talking, co-operation and team skills, that they were more aware of freshwater life in their rural environment, safety at the waterside and  as well as having a calming effect all children achieved success during the project.

Schools working towards their Eco-schools awards have found that the project helped to make children more aware of areas in their environment that the school’s themselves hadn't dealt with.

Fishing for Knowledge gives young people the opportunity to take up a new hobby and pastime whilst at the same time becoming more environmentally aware of their local area.

Gillian Baldie of Belmont Children's Centre, Stranraer said “Due to family circumstances many may not have the opportunity or encouragement to investigate their environment and to see it brought to life in this way, this for them is super". 

For more information on Borderlines please visit their website by clicking here

This project is funded by:

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