1) Schools Outreach
Between October 2021 and March 2023, Katie and Kitty were commissioned to help develop and deliver a series of imaginative, engaging creative workshops for schools in the Ryevitalise catchment area.
Working with three local schools, over 300 students took part in exciting activities outside on the lovely grounds of Nunnington Hall, followed by exhilarating classroom activities. These activities provided the students with the tools to write their own creative stories and poems.
The work with Ryedale School resulted in the fantastic poem Sentiments on Rye which was displayed by the river at Nunnington Hall in 2022 and is now on display at its new home at the Sutton Bank National Park Centre.
The workshops also led to the creation of the wonderful song You and I, the River Rye by Bram David Jarman. The children themselves also produced river-inspired poetry for an anthology the school was putting together.
It is important we learn about the past to change the future. With an ever-changing landscape, we need to capture what this used to look like and how people used it.
It is also important to share these with younger generations, so we can not only learn from the past but inspire others to make a positive change in the future.
2) School Workshops
We have been engaging with local schools to provide curriculum enhancing activities inspired by the River Rye and the surrounding landscape.
Utlising streams, village greens and historical buildings, our schools have enjoyed activities ranging from Romans on the Rye to River Discovery Days, all celebrating the fantastic natural and historical features in our area. In and out of the classroom, students have created their own mosaics, delved into the watery world of riverflies and learnt about the importance our local landowners make to the landscape around us. Students have also been lending a helping hand to our landowners by planting hundreds of trees as part of our conservation agreements.
Engaging younger generations in the natural world is vital for us to make a positive change in the face of climate change. Educating young people about the importance of what’s on their doorstep, will ensure it’s protected and enhanced for years to come. To really do this, schools have to be given the opportunity to be hands on and feel empowered to utilise what’s on their doorstep.
3) John Muir Award
Small groups from Ryedale School have been taking part in the John Muir Award, a conservation award which encourages young people to Discover, Explore, Conserve their local area.
The groups have been assisting with practical tasks with local landowners as part of our ongoing conservation agreements. These tasks have included tree planting, riverfly monitoring, and building bird boxes. The groups have also been tasked with improving a small woodland in Helmsley so future use as a forest school and events site.
After the groups have achieved their awards, they were tasked with sharing their experience to encourage others to take part in positive action in their local area.
4) River Rangers
Our River Rangers youth group is aimed at young people aged 11 – 17, bringing them together from different parts of the Ryevitalise catchment and beyond.
With the assistance of fantastic angling groups and volunteers, the group takes part in a variety of activities such as angling, practical tasks, riverfly monitoring, fly tying and electro fishing.
Many angling groups struggle to attract younger people, our rangers are taking part in monitoring parts of the River Rye through kick sampling and monitoring fish health. It is hoped with the support of local clubs, we can increase the number of young people actively looking after our rivers.