Argyll and Bute primary crowned Scottish champion

Published Date: 

14 Jun 2016 - 10:00

A primary school in Argyll and Bute has been crowned the Scottish champion in this year’s Total Green School Awards.

Luss Primary School won the award for its project, 'Working with the Loch Lomond Fisheries Trust', which saw pupils team up with staff from the trust to study fish currently habiting in the loch.

The whole school will travel to London Zoo on Thursday (16th June) for a special awards ceremony where they will be presented with a £1,000 prize. This is the fifth time Luss Primary has been successful in the competition, having won the 'Totally Clued Up' category three times, as well as receiving a special award for the high quality of work submitted.

Over the last six years pupils have been working hard to try and save the dwindling powan fish population in Loch Lomond. Powan has been in Scotland since the last ice age but is under threat of extinction due to the spread of ruffee fish.

Luss pupils have cared for powan eggs in the school until they hatched to prevent them being eaten in the loch, and have released over 600 fish into the loch to date.

This year pupils redesigned the tank as they had concerns that some of the eggs could get caught in the fittings. The new tank and equipment was provided by the Waitrose Community Fund.

Pupils also looked at the importance of the powan in the loch’s food chains and learned about the eels and rare brook lamphreys’ dependence on them. Pupils visited the smolt traps put out by the Fisheries Trust to monitor fish migrating down the rivers into Loch Lomond and saw a demonstration of electric fishing. Having stunned the fish, the children could then weigh and measure the migrating fish to help the Fisheries Trust record and monitor their numbers.

Argyll and Bute Council’s Policy Lead for Education, Councillor Rory Colville, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the pupils on winning this prestigious award and to thank them for all their hard work.

“The children have shown great determination and have a real passion for what they do with regards to the powan population in Loch Lomond.

“Powan are one of the rarest fish in the UK and the pupils of Luss Primary have had a huge impact on contributing towards its conservation. The children are a real credit to Argyll and Bute and I look forward with anticipation to see where their project takes them.”