National Grid: School children to learn about engineering, wildlife and safety as part of the Western Link project

  • Ysgol Golftyn school children take to the water to learn about the River Dee
  • Quay Watermen’s Association teach valuable lessons in engineering, wildlife and safety
  • Western Link project funds the day and provides life jackets for the river trip

WARWICK, 16-Jun-2017 — /EuropaWire/ — Pupils from Ysgol Golftyn donned their life jackets for a trip down the River Dee for a very special lesson on the life of the waterway.

They were accompanied by volunteers from the Quay Watermen’s Association during a day of hands-on learning which saw them put their science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills into practice.

The school’s year 6 students started the day at the Kathleen and May Heritage Centre, where they learned how cargoes at Connah’s Quay docks had been moved using cranes and derricks – and then put their knowledge to the test by building bridges with a range of materials.

They learned about the lifecycle of the common tern, which migrates from Africa in the spring to nest on the Tata lagoons and feed on the Dee, and then went out onto the water to do some bird watching and to take a closer look at the engineering of the many bridges on the river.

Most importantly, they also had a lesson in safety on and around the river.

Sharon Kevan, Year 6 teacher who accompanied the children, said: “This was a fantastic opportunity to put the knowledge from their STEM lessons into practice.  The children learnt so much, not only from the activities in the Heritage Centre but also from the volunteers from the Quay Watermen’s Association.  They accompanied us around the docks and brought old photographs along so they could explain the changes that have taken place over the years.”

Chair of the Quay Watermen’s Association, Paula Ellis, explained why they had decided to run the course.  “We’re a voluntary organisation established by local fishermen, boat enthusiasts and local residents,” she said.  “We want to conserve the Connah’s Quay dock area and raise awareness about its maritime heritage – but most importantly, we want to give children respect for the River Dee.

“With summer holidays coming, we want children to be outside enjoying the river banks and the history of the docks, but it’s absolutely vital that they learn how dangerous the river can be if they don’t take care.  With Western Link’s funding we purchased life-jackets for the children so they could go out on the river safely, which was a great experience for them.”

Glyn Sibson, project manager for Western Link’s new Flintshire Bridge converter station just across the river from the Kathleen and May Heritage Centre, joined the activities for the day.

“We were delighted to be able to support the Quay Watermen’s Association to promote safety around the river,” he said.  “And an added bonus from our perspective was the opportunity to show the children that science is fun.

“Our country needs engineers and a day like this, that brings STEM subjects alive, is a great way to inspire young children and grab their interest from an early age.  The boat trip was an exciting end to what will be a very memorable day for them, I’m sure.”

The £1 billion Western Link project is a joint venture between National Grid and ScottishPower Transmission. When complete, it will bring renewable energy from Scotland to homes and businesses in England and Wales and help the UK meet its carbon reduction targets.

Notes to Editors:

National Grid is one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world and was named Responsible Business of the Year 2014 by Business in the Community. This accolade acknowledges all of our efforts in getting involve with the things that really matter to us and to society. We own and manage the grids that connect people to the energy they need, from whatever the source.  In Britain and the north-eastern states of the US we run systems that deliver gas and electricity to millions of people, businesses and communities.

In Britain, we run the gas and electricity systems that our society is built on, delivering gas and electricity across the country.  In the North Eastern US, we connect more than seven million gas and electric customers to vital energy sources, essential for our modern lifestyles.

National Grid in the UK:

  • We own the high-voltage electricity transmission network in England and Wales, operating it across Great Britain
  • We own and operate the high pressure gas transmission system in Britain
  • We also own a number of related businesses including LNG importation, land remediation and metering
  • Our portfolio of other businesses is mainly concerned with infrastructure provision and related services where we can exploit our core skills and assets to create value. These businesses operate in areas such as Metering, Grain LNG Import, Interconnectors and Property. National Grid Carbon Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of National Grid. It undertakes Carbon Capture Storage related activities on behalf of National Grid.

Find out more about the energy challenge and how National Grid is helping find solutions to some of the challenges we face at

National Grid undertakes no obligation to update any of the information contained in this release, which speaks only as at the date of this release, unless required by law or regulation.

SOURCE: National Grid


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