The Mystery of the Yellow Fish

Tuesday 4th July 2017

Striking yellow fish stickers have been appearing on pavements in Surrey this week as part of a new campaign to raise awareness about pollution in the county’s waterways.

Children from St Martin’s C of E Primary School in Dorking helped fix the stickers on kerbs next to surface water drains in the Meadowbank area, which feed directly into the nearby Pipp Brook.

The ‘Yellow Fish’ initiative is a Surrey Wildlife Trust project, funded by the Environment Agency. The Trust is working with schools, businesses and community groups in the Dorking area to spread the word about the importance of good water quality for wildlife.

“The Yellow Fish campaign aims to highlight to people just how close their drains are to rivers, streams and ponds and to encourage them to think twice about pouring toxic things away,” said Glen Skelton, Surrey Wildlife Trust’s Wetlands Officer. 

“Even tiny quantities of some chemicals such as petrol or paint can have a huge effect on wildlife. When invertebrates in rivers or streams are impacted, there’s often a knock on effect for fish and bird populations. So look out for the yellow fish symbol in your local area and please remember – only rain down the drain!”
The year two children from St Martin’s in Ranmore Road also spent time with Trust volunteers identifying minibeasts in stream water with magnifying glasses in the classroom.

Julie Gill, who teaches Owls class, said the children had learnt a lot about wetland wildlife and the effects of pollution.

“Our Yellow Fish work has helped raise the children’s awareness of what’s living in our rivers and streams, which links in well with our curriculum, learning about different habitats and the problems of pollution in the environment,” she said.

“The children are now more aware of what they put down the drain and how it impacts on the creatures that live in the water. At this age they do tend to waste water – this project has made them think more about where that water comes from, so they don’t take clean water for granted.”

The Trust is also aiming to spread the ‘only rain down the drain’ message with visits and leaflet drops to local businesses in the town. 

You can get involved in protecting and restoring waterways in your local area by volunteering with the Trust’s ‘RiverSearch’ project.

Find out more and sign up as a citizen science volunteer >>

Tagged with: Living Landscapes, Volunteering, Education, RiverSearch, Volunteering