Our Finest Dour

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The River Dour is a rare chalk stream that runs through the heart of Dover; fed from the aquifers of the stunning White Cliffs. There are only 200 chalk streams in the entire world.
The Dour community branch of Affinity Water’s award-winning education team has been working in close partnership with the White Cliffs Countryside Partnership, in particular on their – National Lottery Heritage Funded project, ‘Our Finest Dour’. This 3-year project aims to raise local awareness about the river, its rarity, and its importance for biodiversity.

Barton Junior School and Whitecliffs Primary College for the Arts were enthusiastic participants in the project – both schools being almost on the doorstep of their local river. They called it their ‘Dour Power’ Project and appointed themselves as Dour Power Rangers! Throughout a two-week period running from 11-21 June, each year group from both schools donned their welly boots and got themselves into the river to look at the wonderful variety of flora and fauna that live there.

The children were so excited to be able to catch Freshwater Shrimp, Bullheads and Sticklebacks and to really study them in closer detail. This was a perfect opportunity for them to learn about the unique habitat that a chalk stream provides and how the flora and fauna within it co-exist and rely on each other for survival.

It is hoped that by raising awareness about the river, local people will start to take ownership, and therefore a real pride, in their river. The children will use all of this vital learning to help them plan and run a campaign to encourage their school and wider communities to conserve and protect the River Dour.

This was just one of the many educational opportunities that Affinity Water has on offer, and we continue to be committed to helping future generations learn about, and care for their local environment; in particular, the water that is crucial to all life.
Iona Dubieniec, Landscape Partnership Officer, from White Cliffs Countryside Partnership, who runs “Our Finest Dour” said, “I am so happy that all of the children who have taken part now know the name of the river as well as the fact that is a rare chalk stream – they really are our Dour Power Rangers!”

One Yr5 pupil from Barton Junior school said: “This is actually the best day ever!”

Karen Stanley, Education Co-Ordinator at Affinity Water said, “At Affinity Water, we are passionate about using interactive learning to really engage young people and help them to become passionate about their local environment. Seeing the children so engaged, and really appreciating the privilege of having clean, fresh water to drink, and how all of nature relies on it so heavily, was a real inspiration.”

Miss Taylor, Year 4 teacher from the school said: “It’s wonderful to see the children having such a hands-on experience and being so carefree – they have really enjoyed themselves.”
For more details about our school outreach days and for FREE downloadable resources, please visit our website: www.affinitywater.co.uk/education