Luss Primary School pupils win ITV Animal Honours award

Published Date: 

16 Apr 2013 - 14:23

Checking the food supply is available in the Loch with national park rangers before releasing the PowanLuss Primary School in Argyll and Bute has received national recognition for environmental project achievements. Thanks to the pupils’ outstanding efforts to save Loch Lomond’s native powan fish, they have been invited to appear on a television programme which will feature the winners from among the UK’s animal lovers and animal charities, volunteers and animal welfare organisations.

The children and their conservation work will be featured on The British Animal Honours 2013 show, which will be hosted by Paul O' Grady and filmed in front of a live audience. The show will be aired on ITV on Thursday 18 April between 8pm and 10pm. Nominees in a variety of categories have been suggested by the public and winners have been chosen by a jury of thirty animal experts, charities and celebrities.

The powan has been under threat since another species of fish, the ruffe, was introduced accidentally to the loch around twenty-five years ago and began to devour the powan’s eggs. The future looked bleak for the native fish until funding from Scottish Natural Heritage started local schools hatching powan eggs and return baby fish to the water.

In partnership with the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust and the Loch Lomond National Park Authority the Luss pupils have raised and released hundreds of this rare whitefish, which in Scotland only occur in Loch Lomond and Loch Eck, to try to save the species from extinction.

Lead Councillor for Education and Lifelong Learning Richard Trail said
‘I would like to congratulate Luss Primary School pupils and staff on this recognition for their valiant efforts to help save a native fish species. Projects such as this give our children a great opportunity for active learning and make a valuable contribution to our environment.’

Luss Primary School has a strong track record in environmental projects and has been awarded Eco School status several times in recent years. The Eco-Schools project was launched in 1994 in Denmark, Germany, Greece and the United Kingdom with the support of the European Commission. In the summer of 2012 the school won the Scottish Total Green School Award, Totally Clued Up, for the second year running, and eco-activities have been integrated with the whole curriculum, including constructing bat and bird boxes to place around the village, and planters for the Village in Bloom Competition.