Children create film to inspire the next generation of river champions

This summer over 400 pupils from schools in Carlisle and the Eden Valley have taken on the challenge to Act for Eden for life in a unique education programme from conservation charity, Eden Rivers Trust.

From taking part in the two-day programme to creating a film to inspire children everywhere, the next generation of river champions are doing their bit for healthy rivers by (literally) saving our precious fresh water supplies.

Thanks to funding from United Utilities’ CaST (catchment and strategic thinking) account, hundreds of pupils have learnt about healthy rivers and their link to our water supply.

Act for Eden for life combines field visits to explore their local river with thought-provoking classroom activities to understand the threats to river wildlife and the clean water that we use. Armed with this knowledge, pupils are then challenged to identify and make a small change to their everyday life that will use water wisely or reduce pollution to protect nature.

The Trust worked with Lowther Endowed School and film-maker, Janine Bebbington of Gorgeous Media to create a film to be used as one of the learning resources. River Champions Act for Eden explores the journey that water takes from source to tap and back again and calls for everyone to take on one of seven river challenges.

As part of their research, children from years 3 and 4 went to Haweswater reservoir and years 5 and 6 visited a local Wastewater (sewage) Treatment Works where they saw first-hand the scale of the problem of unflushables – a skip full that had been sieved out of sewage water.

Children in a classroom

The film was premiered to a packed house at the school just before the end of the summer term and is now available to watch on Eden Rivers Trust’s YouTube channel.

Tania Crockett, Eden Rivers Trust’s Learning Coordinator said:

“This film project has not only given the children involved in making it a wonderful learning experience, it has also inspired their school community to rise to the challenge and take action for our rivers.

“The key messages of reducing pollution by only EVER flushing the 3P’s (pee, poo and paper) and simple ways to use water wisely, are delivered by children, for children (and their families), and it really works! They understand why we need rivers to be healthy, and how the little everyday things that we do really can make a big difference if we do it collectively.”

There are a few dates available in September for more primary schools in the Carlisle and Penrith areas to take part in the programme, contact Tania Crockett at Eden Rivers Trust on 01768 866788 for more information. 

Eden Rivers Trust


Will be released on the Eden Rivers Trust YouTube channel at 12pm Wednesday 27 July 2022.

Haweswater Reservoir

Act for Eden for Life is a 12 month project, supported by a grant of £50k from United Utilities CaST account to take our current Act for Eden* campaign into schools (and the wider school communities) in Carlisle and the Eden Valley to create the next generation of river champions for the River Eden catchment.

Through the project, Primary school children who don’t typically have access to a river environment will be inspired by their local river through site visits and exploration activities; understand the threats to river wildlife and the clean water they use and be empowered to take sustained action to help rivers.

The three themes of the programme are: use water wisely, reduce pollution and protect wildlife with the development of a primary schools’ learning programme and new/updated web resources that will educate and empower children and their families to Act for Eden.

*Original Act for Eden campaign supported by National Lottery Heritage Fund.