Children sat behind a newsdesk

River Champions Act for Eden!

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 our new, unique education programme.

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 freshwater 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 film: River Champions Act for Eden

We 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.

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 our YouTube channel.


Learning Coordinator, Tania Crockett 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.

girl with her arms in the air against a backdrop of Haweswater reservoir
schoolchildren sitting on stones at Haweswater

James Airton, Natural Capital Strategy and Planning Manager for United Utilities said:

Helping younger generations understand the importance of water quality and efficiency is hugely important to us.  By understanding the role they can play, children can have a positive influence on the environment from an early age.

That’s why we were so keen to help Eden Rivers Trust with this important activity.

girls showing a fish in a jar to the camera
people watching a film

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.

UU CaST logo


Eden Rivers Kingfisher Icon
Eden Rivers Kingfisher Icon