Waterways Ireland has successfully completed the first week of an innovative pilot 'Water Project' for post-primary schools on the 30th September 2106 . 90 students and teachers from four second level schools in Co Fermanagh engaged in water based learning activities on Lough Erne as part of the two week pilot educational project which runs until 7th October.
The 'Water Project' has been developed and implemented in partnership with Row the Erne; Erne Paddlers; Inland Fisheries (DAERA) and the National Coarse Fishing Federation of Ireland; Fermanagh Castle Museum; RSPB and the Ulster Wildlife Trust. Waterways Ireland has ongoing educational work with primary schools centred on the waterways. This 'Water Project' has enabled Waterways Ireland to work with these partners to realise shared goals, promoting awareness and knowledge of the importance of Lough Erne and access to its many recreational activity opportunities for secondary level students.
Pupils and teachers from St. Fanchea's College, St Aidan's High School, Devenish College and St. Joseph's College undertook the two day programme at Waterways Ireland's headquarters in Enniskillen. The students took part in biodiversity workshops where they discovered some of the many fascinating water based creatures, birds and aquatic plants that exist along the shoreline of Lough Erne. They rowed a 33ft Bronze Age style currach, and also learnt the techniques of Angling. Week 2 students commencing on 4th October will have a different series of activities, including kayaking, biodiversity workshops and a heritage workshop in Fermanagh Castle Museum.
Initial feedback from both students and teachers on the success of 'The Water Project' has been hugely positive. At the end of the two week pilot all the feedback from partners and participants will be gathered to inform an evaluation report and future development of the project in the months ahead.