Mayfly in the classroom

Mayfly in the Classroom introduction

Mayfly in the Classroom is the Wild Trout Trust’s flagship education programme. It aims to connect school children to their local river habitats and uses the lifecycle of Mayflies to teach them about the broader themes of biodiversity, ecology and the links between aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity. For more information on mayflies and the Mayfly in the Classroom concept, see the following PDFs:

Teachers introduction to Mayflies

Mayfly in the classroom: Concept

How Mayfly in the classroom links with the natonal curriculum

A prime example of MiC was piloted by the WTT & Eden Rivers Trust (ERT) in Cumbria and MiC is now taught in 11 primary schools in that county.

Click here for examples of successful MiC projects

An article on Mayfly in the Classroom was published in the National Association for Environmental Education’s 2013 newsletter which can be seen by clicking here

A fantastic report from a new partnership — Wear Rivers Trust is available from projects run in 2014. Please see by clicking here. The report offers excellent information about how the project is run, how it fits the curriculum and how much the children enjoyed it!


Aquatic invertebrates lend themselves to education about aquatic conservation very readily. The lifecycle of Mayflies perfectly illustrates requirements for good aquatic habitat. They also play a pivotal role in linking aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity. A whole variety of other activities can be tailored to highlight local issues including:

  • How land-use affects stream ecology
  • Efficient use of domestic water supplies and the impacts of over-abstraction
  • The importance of indicator species” like mayflies and trout
  • Diverse and healthy food-webs

These less well known aspects of their biology would (for most people) include the way in which mayflies are a crucial food sources for their many predators. All activities are linked (differentiated accordingly) to specific National Curriculum Key Stages.

Jacobs Mayfly
A mayfly

Getting started

Once you have undergone rudimentary training, MiC is both cheap and easy to set up.

Mayfly in the Classroom apparatus

Once up and running, a variety of activities can be run alongside, to make the experience as hands on and interactive as possible. Here are some examples:

  1. Keeping daily records
  2. Primary 6 activity ideas
  3. Wordsearch
  4. Planner for dry days
  5. Planner for wet day
  6. Invertebrate Record sheet
  7. Fact file and food chain
  8. Mayfly life cycle

Further information

Please use the links and information below to help you get your own Mayfly in the Classroom projects off the ground.

Primary 6 amazing mayfly facts

Lesson plan

Risk Assessment

If you need help obtaining nymphs, the Riverfly partnership may be able to put you in touch with your nearest Anglers Riverfly Monitoring Initiative (ARMI) group.

Charles Carr Mayfly Sillouette