Children fish for their supper with Food Nation
Newcastle pupils have been scaling up their fishing knowledge as part of a special activity programme to inspire them to think more about where their food comes from.
Children from Walbottle Village Primary School have been working with Food Nation, a Byker-based social enterprise, to find out how fish becomes food - and they have caught their very own fish supper in the process.
Food Nation - in partnership with Cliff Johnston, a regional fishing instructor - took 34 students from Year 5 and 6 on a trip to Witton-Le-Wear Fishery in County Durham where they were taught everything from baiting up a hook and casting their line, to reeling in a hooked fish and understanding how to treat the fish as humanely as possible.
The day also included a visit to Low Barns Nature Reserve, where the children took part in a nature walk that culminated in pond dipping.
The pupils have been working with Food Nation all year to explore a series of food adventures, including visits to real working farms, meeting local food producers, taking part in cookery workshops and growing food at their school.
Food Nation’s enterprise development manager Joanna Lacey, who organised the day, said: “It could not have been a more perfect day for fishing, and that definitely got the children in the mood for spending a few hours sat around a lake in the countryside with a fishing rod in hand.
“There was so much excitement as the children arrived at the site - and the first fish, caught by Year 6 pupil Loren, was landed alongside a whole load of cheering and clapping from her classmates.
“Experiences such as these are so important in making sure that the next generation of food shoppers have a great appreciation of where their food is from, and, in the case of fish, how they are caught and processed from start to finish, in order for them to make good choices as well as living a healthy lifestyle.
Class teacher Miss Savory said: “We have really enjoyed all the food experiences that we have taken part in this year with Food Nation, and this was the final one.
“We were a little apprehensive as to what it would be like to have so many children at one time fishing and if they would all get involved, although we now know there was nothing to worry about.
“The trip was just fantastic and the children learnt so much, as did the teachers. I know they’ll never forget it and I think we have some aspiring fishermen and women in our classrooms now too!”
Food Nation has also signed up to the Sustainable Fish City pledge, coordinated by Food Newcastle – a cross sector partnership of organisations and businesses across the city – in a bid to help Newcastle win a Sustainable Fish City accolade.
For more information about Food Newcastle’s Sustainable Fish campaign, visit www.foodnewcastle.org
For more information about Food Nation, visit www.foodnation.org or call 0191 276 0595.