HUNDREDS of youngsters in Burnley will learn more about local rivers as a ‘stretch’ is brought into their classrooms.

Supporters of Burnley Urban River Enhancement Scheme (URES) have been carrying out a series of engineering projects to clean and recondition the Calder, Brun and Don in the borough.

And now the Ribble Rivers Trust is launching 'Trout in the Classroom, an initiative to give them an insight into nearby waterways. Pupils at Stoneyholme CP, St Peter’s CE, St Joseph's Park Hill, Springfield CP, Ightenhill and Holy Trinity CE have taken delivery of tanks designed to mirror conditions in rivers.

Brown trout eggs are being placed in the tanks and children will monitor them, and feed the young, as they hatch.

Professional artists will join lessons to help pupils complete artwork, poetry and fashion stories based around the great outdoors.

Then after three months, when the fry are large enough, trust officers will join teachers and students as they are released into the nearest appropriate stream or river. Trust officials hope it will encourage young people to become ‘guardians’ of their local rivers.

Neil Ashworth, the scheme’s education officer, said: “Local people are essential to the success of the URES and we are working to encourage and equip our communities with the skills, experience and confidence to take ownership and pride in our rivers.

“Children are future guardians of the rivers and it is vital to the success of the scheme that they become involved.”

Sara Hilton, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund North West, which has backed URES, added: “The scheme is fantastic news for Burnley and will have transformational effects for local people and the surrounding environment.

“Ribble Rivers Trust will uncover the historic river and reinstate it at the heart of the town but also empower local communities to explore, enjoy and help conserve this important part of their heritage.”