A BARRHEAD primary is taking part in a ground-breaking “school citizen science project” ahead of Glasgow hosting the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in November.

The education programme aims to inspire kids about the success story of wild salmon in the River Clyde and has been developed by conservation organisations, including the Clyde River Foundation (CRF), Missing Salmon Alliance (MSA) and US initiative, Salmon School, in collaboration with the Smithsonian Museum.

During the project, pupils will visit their local river to find out more about the story of the Clyde and its tributaries, wild salmon, their lifecycle and the factors affecting them, as well as surveying the habitat and fish populations.

Carlibar is one of 26 primaries recruited, with 32 primary six children taking part in the first part of this project on August 31 with a visit to the Levern Water.

Scientists from the CRF showed the children how to take water samples and carried out other experiments to help them catch and examine the fish.

The children helped collect eDNA (molecules released by fish into the water) from water samples and these will be sent to the Smithsonian in Washington DC for analysis. The children will get information back about the findings of this.

The pupils will also be involved in classroom learning experiences and further visits to the watercourse between now and COP26 to monitor the river and share the message of the importance of cool, clean water.

Carlibar depute head Michelle Fleming, who is supporting pupils through the project, said: “We are delighted to have the opportunity to be involved with the CRF in this exciting project.

“The children were amazed by the number of different types of fish and invertebrates they were able to find in the Levern Water.

“The project gives them the opportunity to learn different scientific techniques in a real life learning context and also increase their knowledge about the importance of rivers to our environment.”

Willie Yeoman, CRF director, added: “Salmon’s return to the Clyde is a powerful message and resonates with global stories of communities protecting and restoring salmon to their local rivers. We aim to create the salmon stewards of the future.”