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The Adventurous Salmon

Written by George Fisher

Image for article The Adventurous Salmon

To mark the International Year of the Salmon in 2019, West Cumbria Rivers Trust and Eden Rivers Trust has launched The Adventurous Salmon, a brand-new children’s picture book.

The book follows the epic 3,000 km journey undertaken by an intrepid wild Atlantic salmon; from Cumbria’s tiny becks to the sea and back again to the beck where it was born. Along the way, it introduces young readers to native wildlife found in the West Cumbria area.

The Adventurous Salmon also meets endangered species such as white-clawed crayfish and freshwater pearl mussels on his travels. Wild Atlantic salmon themselves are under threat and the story raises awareness of a number of challenges salmon face in our rivers.

The story was written by West Cumbria Rivers Trust’s Rebecca Neal and Eden Rivers Trust’s Tania Crockett as part of a programme of free education sessions run by the Trusts across Cumbria and funded by Copeland Community Fund, United Utilities and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Jodie Mills, Operations Director at West Cumbria Rivers Trust said: “The Adventurous Salmon will form a key part of the free nature education programme we offer local schools. We’ve recently used the book in the classroom for the first time and had a fantastic response from pupils, who really engaged with the book’s lessons about Cumbrian wildlife.”

With support from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Eden Rivers Trust worked with two Year 5 classes from Robert Ferguson Primary School in Carlisle to develop illustrations. The pupils learnt drawing techniques from the book’s illustrator, Clare Waring from Custard Design, then created their own creatures and gave Clare ideas for the page backgrounds.

‘Adventurous Salmon’ photo: Winners of West Cumbria Rivers Trust’s ‘Design our Van’ competition are presented with copies of The Adventurous Salmon.

Clare Waring, Illustrator said: “The children developed some very imaginative illustrations from the story and it was great to see their interpretations of the characters. After the workshop, I had the task of incorporating their drawings into one consistent style”.

Jodie Mills added: “The book is a great partnership project between the two Trusts and will be sold to raise funds for both West Cumbria Rivers Trust and Eden Rivers Trust, and copies will be given free of charge to all the schools we work with.”

The Adventurous Salmon is available from West Cumbria River Trust’s visitor centre at 32 Lake Road, Keswick, from the Keswick and Carlisle branches of Bookends, or online from the Eden Rivers Trust website HERE.

Schools and community groups interested in free education sessions should contact West Cumbria Rivers Trust’s new Education and Engagement Officer, Cathy Gruba, on

Queries: Contact Sarah on or 017687 75429.

About West Cumbria Rivers Trust

• West Cumbria Rivers Trust is a registered charity which strives to restore and enhance the value of rivers, lakes, estuaries and surrounding countryside throughout West Cumbria for the benefit of people and wildlife.
• Our main rivers are the Derwent, Ellen, Waver, Wampool, Ehen, Calder, Irt, Mite, Esk and Annas, plus their tributaries. We also look after lakes, including Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite, Thirlmere, Crummock Water, Buttermere, Loweswater, Ennerdale Water and Wastwater.
• West Cumbria Rivers Trust’s aims are to protect, improve and raise awareness of the water environments of West Cumbria through practical conservation, research and education.
• Although completely independent, we work in partnership to deliver maximum benefit with organisations like the Environment Agency, Natural England, numerous charitable and environmental organisations and private companies and individuals.
• West Cumbria Rivers Trust relies entirely on public donations, grants and fund-raising to carry out its work.