PUPILS are nurturing new pond-life to release into the river near their school.

Nine children from Gainford C of E Primary School, in County Durham, are looking after 24 tiny brown trout, in partnership with Sarah Cox, from the Tees River Trust, and Dave Bamford, from the Ure River Trust.

The fish have already doubled in size since arriving at the school in early March.

Each day, the youngsters feed them, check the ammonia level in the specialist fish tank and change the water when required.

Howard Blindt, headteacher, said: “We are trying to help the children to get more knowledge about the River Tees, which is just down the road from the school.

“It is a bit more technical than looking after goldfish but the children are very interested and love to help and watch the fish.

“Hopefully it will succeed in helping them to understand, when they go for a walk down by the river, what lives in there.”

The children, from years two, three and four, will continue looking after the trout, with help from school staff, until the fish are developed and mature enough to release into the river.