UNDERWATER webcams will be streaming live images of pondlife as part of a two-year project.
The Railway Land Wildlife Trust has received £64,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project, called Railway Land Live.
It is based at Lewes Nature Reserve, in partnership with South East Grid for Learning Associates, and schools across Sussex can get involved.
Steve Savage, a member of the management group for the Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve, will be the project’s head field teacher.
He said: “I would love some of the Shoreham schools to get involved, either directly as a visit to Lewes Nature Reserve, or remotely via the live webcams. The programme is free to participating schools, too.”
Live images from the ponds and ditches on the reserve will be streamed to schools taking part. The newly-built Linklater Pavilion will act as the centre of operations and 15 primary schools a year will be involved in hands-on experiences on the reserve.
The project also offers schools ideas on how to build and maintain a pond in their grounds.
Mr Savage, a biologist and author, will lead many of the activities, working alongside Dr John Parry, project director.
Latest figures show about a third of the ponds in Sussex has disappeared in the last 50 years.
Out of the ones remaining, around 80 per cent are in poor condition for wildlife.
A core principle of the Railway Land Wildlife Trust’s mission statement is to encourage children and young people to engage with the natural world around them.
Dr Parry said: “We are supported by an exceptionally strong team of South East Grid for Learning Associates who have worked on other wildlife webcam projects and we are lucky to have Steve Savage who has published 44 children’s wildlife books and worked as an environmental educator, including the study of freshwater habitats and school ponds, for 30 years.”
Visit www.railwaylandproject.org for more information on the project.