ACS International School

Geographers at Low Tide

Published Monday 15th of June 2015 01:02:13 PM

Year 8 geography pupils at St Benedict’s School, Ealing have braved wintry blasts, sudden showers and oozy mud at low tide to investigate the wealth of life in the shallows of the River Thames at Chiswick. The tidal range at Chiswick averages 7 metres and the changes from freshwater to salt water and back again bring an abundance of species to the waters. The pupils measured water characteristics such as temperature, pH, velocity and depth before going on to investigate the tidal muds at low tide to find out about the creatures lurking within. Geography teacher Peter Walton describes some of the discoveries: “Turn over a London half-brick and squeal at the wriggling beauties underneath. Wade into the sluggish shallows and catch juvenile eels, or elvers, as they wriggle out of your hand. Catch a Chinese mitten crab or even a young flounder. The fact that there are so many species indicates that the river is relatively clean, and the presence of the tiny freshwater shrimp, an ‘indicator species’, confirms it. We learned that the Thames is the cleanest major city river in the world.” The pupils were thoroughly involved in the day and all the St Benedict’s groups were complemented on their positive attitude and hard work by the Thames Explorer Trust personnel.
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