It is vital for the future of all rivers that the next generation is enthused by them and their wildlife, from as young an age as possible.

Many children do not have the opportunity to explore and experience the aquatic environments that exist very close to them. They miss out on the benefits to themselves, their communities and the wider environment which come from connecting meaningfully to their local rivers.

Pupils from Llanfoist Fawr Primary School at the Freshwater Friends appeal launch, discovering what lives in the river Usk and why clean water is so important to them.We want to reach every school in our area and to help children connect with their rivers through fun, thought-provoking activities linked to the curriculum.

The Foundation launched its "Freshwater Friends" appeal yesterday to coincide with World Environment Day. Our target is to raise £15,000, which would enable 3,000 schoolchildren in the Wye and Usk area to learn about the creatures that live in their local rivers and about the natural world.

Colette Mooney, our Head of Education, said: "When children engage with the natural world in this way, it can change the way they look at their surroundings. They see the value and importance of their environment, both locally and globally." She added: "We are appealing to everyone to help them and our rivers today by donating to our appeal! A donation of just £5 will fund a child's place on our Freshwater Friends programme and £200 will enable a whole school to take part."

Simon Evans, the Foundation's Chief Executive, commented: "There has never been a more important time for all of us to do what we can to help protect our precious planet. We want all the schoolchildren in the Wye and Usk area to have their own first hand encounters with the natural world. They are the future protectors of rivers and the wider environment. We must inspire them to take positive, personal action for its benefit."

We would appreciate your support in helping us reach every school by donating to the Freshwater Friends appeal. You can keep up-to-date on progress via the website and by following the Foundation on Twitter and Facebook.

All the best from the Foundation and thank you for your support!