Year 8 pupils have made a short animation in a bid to protect their local rivers.


The Belfast Hills Partnership and Belfast Harbour Commission’s ‘Trout Animation Project’ was created by students from Lagan Integrated College, who were mentored by Joel Simon, an accomplished animator, with over 20 years experience working with clients including CBBC, Comic Relief, Sesame Street and Channel 4.


Over eight weeks the students learned about local biodiversity issues and lifecycles, and then created their own storyboards, sets and animations showing the devastating effects of pollution to our local waterways and loughs.


The cautionary tale tells of the damaging impact of pollution to trout populations by litter and effluent from industries and other major polluters.


The film, which was launched at Belfast Harbour Commissioner’s Office, will now go on release to tour local schools and serve as an educational tool to teach other young people about local environmental issues.


The initiative is part of the Big Lottery’s, Our Bright Future Project, which aims to encourage young people to find out more about their local rivers and how they connect the Hills to the city, as well as encouraging them to become the future ambassadors for our natural heritage and wildlife.


Belfast Hills Partnership Youth Outreach Officer Jo Boylan said “the primary aim of the film was to help young people gain new skills by learning about their local environment.


“We believe peer education in the form of this film may be a successful component of helping connect young people to local issues”.


“We feel that by developing strong links – specifically with schools located close to the Belfast Hills – we will see young people emerge who wish to enjoy and protect local habitats and wildlife.