TweedStart is an initiative aimed at encouraging participation in natural history and game angling throughout the Tweed catchment by local residents and visitors, on an all-inclusive basis. It places particular emphasis on youth development, encouraging school children to take an interest in the ecology and nature of the River, making them aware of the importance of good habitat management and the environmental considerations in sustaining healthy river systems. Currently TweedStart is in two parts
TweedStart Schools Resource pack for teachers. We have prepared teaching materials for primary schools so that the RiverTweed’s natural history, biology and geography can used as part of schools project work. This is free and is available on the TES website for teachers. This resource can be used on its own to teach children about the river or in conjunction with TweedStart days, below. The Pack has been produced by the Tweed Foundation, in association with the Berwick Community Trust, and provides an exciting new teaching resource about the River Tweed for primary school teachers in both England and in Scotland. The Foundation has been taking part in the Schools Days both at Glendale Showground, Wooler, and at the more recently formed Border Union event, for many years. At these events, the Foundation provide the children with the opportunity of meeting, close-up, the fish and invertebrates that live in the river and teaches them about the natural history of the River Tweed. Whilst the Pack retains a distinctly ‘River Tweed’ flavour, and is primarily aimed at the North Northumberland and Scottish Borders schools, many of the resources could easily be used, or adapted, for any primary school lesson in the UK. It can be used on its own or in conjunction with outdoor field days.
TweedStart days include an introduction to fly fishing to foster the next generation of angling enthusiasts.
TweedStart’s Angling Development Officer is Eoin Fairgrieve A.A.P.G.A.I., a fully qualified professional angling instructor. He is a member of the Scottish World Speycasting Championship Team, and has a charismatic and infectious teaching style, which represents the new face of angling. Eoin is fully committed to the natural environment and enhancement of river systems and TweedStart provides professionally-led introductory courses in fly fishing, fly-tying, insect recognition, water safety, and environmental education, all of which dovetails with the objectives of the Tweed Foundation. Eoin is assisted on TweedStart days by the Tweed Foundation’s Trout & Grayling Biologist, Kenny Galt, who teaches attendees more about river fly life.
TweedStart is based at The Roxburghe Hotel’s Trout Fishery near Kelso, which provides an ideal location for environmental education field trips, with the facility including a classroom, lakes for fly fishing and pond dipping, a fly-tying room, and full wheelchair access to all areas. Some TweedStart days are held at other angling locations in the catchment too and, in addition, the team attend several Open Days each year.
TweedStart works closely with the education sector by integrating its activities into the curriculum in primary and secondary schools throughout the Tweed catchment. Local schools host the TweedStart Roadshow and enjoy field trips to the TweedStart facility as The Roxburghe, as well as some visits to their school classrooms.
The initiative aims to highlight that participation in angling promotes a healthy active lifestyle and provides a focus for life-long learning and leisure, and emphasizes the economic importance of angling tourism and its contribution to the well-being of communities within the Tweed catchment.
To request further information on TweedStart, or to enquire about a school visit click here