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River dipping (Habitat)

For KS1 and KS2 students:

Step in to a world of secrets full of predators and prey. Here your children will have the opportunity to walk in a safe and clean river to discover what lives there. They will get to search different areas of the river to identify the different species.

For AS and A2 students:

Spend the day at Perlethorpe exploring the River Meden using river study equipment to see the effects of the flow rate on the diversity of invertebrates. Using keys to identify species, see if the river carries pollutants which could have a negative impact on the fauna.


Suitable for:
KS1, KS2, KS3 and KS4
Full day (KS1 & KS2) | 1/2 day (AS & A2)
Available at:

On arrival one of our tutors will welcome your group to the Centre and go through the schedule for the day, learning objectives and health and safety issues.

KS1 and KS2 day itinerary:

  • Time to put our wellies on, collect equipment and walk to River Meden
  • Demonstration of how to dip the different zones in the river: surface, open water, river bed, vegetation on banks
  • Time to pair up and take turns to dip the river, after we'll return with our trays to the bank to identify our findings
  • KS2 option: take part in the "Pollution Detectives" activity 
  • We'll return the mini-beasts to the river before we head back to the centre to get changed

AS and A2 day itinerary:

  • Digital slideshow showing the different animals that might be found and discussion of their varying adaptations
  • Question: Will there will a difference in diversity in the fauna dependent on the speed of the river flow
  • Demonstrate equipment, flow rate meter, pH, nitrates testing
  • We'll walk to River Meden
  • Demonstration of how to dip the different zones in the river: surface, open water, river bed, vegetation on banks
    • Study site 1: Slow moving water
    • Study site 2: Fast moving water
  • Head back to the centre to get changed
  • Use river study equipment
  • Identify invertebrates
  • Have fun learning the different areas of a river
  • Identify key fauna species (AS and A2)
  • Understand the effects of river flow on the ecosystem (AS and A2)
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Further information

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Some outdoor clothing and footwear is available at the Centre but please ensure children are dressed warmly with suitable waterproof outerwear. Some waders are available. Detailed activity sheets will be provided at the centre for group’s self- leading sessions. Please note all activity programmes may vary depending on number of pupils and their needs, length of visit and weather conditions.

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