Interactive Model Brings Tyne Catchment To Life

21st July 2022

A miniature model of the Tyne catchment developed by Tyne Rivers Trust is proving a success in helping schoolchildren and community groups to learn how the Tyne’s river system is reacting to changes in climate.

The interactive model shows the whole of the Tyne catchment from Kielder and Alston all the way down to Tynemouth. It has water flowing in the rivers and interchangeable parts to show how slowing the flow of water and using better land management practices and natural flood management techniques can help the river to cope with a changing climate.

The interchangeable sections include leaky dams, straightened vs meandering river, woodland, riparian tree planting and restored peatland, which all demonstrate changes which can help the river to adapt to a changing climate.

Simone Saville, My Tyne project officer who co-designed the model, says: “It’s a fantastic resource to bring our catchment to life. It shows the main rivers as well as major landmarks like the Tyne Bridge and the Angel of the North so people can really see how it fits together.”

Simone continues: “Using the model we can create and compare a ‘climate unfriendly catchment’ with a ‘climate friendly’ catchment, holding water back to prevent flooding downstream. This also creates habitat for people and wildlife to enjoy.

“The feedback has been fantastic from both adults and young people. Everyone who has seen the model in action has gone away with a better understanding of how we can improve our catchment to cope with a changing climate.”

The environmental charity will be taking the interactive model to groups across the catchment. The model was funded by the Reece Foundation.

Anne Reece, Trustee of the Reece Foundation says: “Climate change is already having a very significant effect on the rivers and countryside around us. It is so important that we all – and especially young people, understand both these effects and how we can change our surroundings and our activities to lessen them and keep the countryside and riverside that we love. And protect the fish and wildlife that depend upon the river.

“The Reece Foundation is delighted to fund this model which brings these things to life in a fun and interactive way. We hope lots of schools will take the opportunity the Tyne Rivers Trust gives them to teach their pupils this important science.”


About Tyne Rivers Trust

Tyne Rivers Trust has been working to improve the River Tyne and its catchment since 2004. In that time we’ve reduced the number of barriers to fish migrating upstream, improved huge amounts of river habitat and cleaned up the quality of water so that aquatic life can thrive.

Working with schoolchildren and communities that live along the Tyne, we also help future generations to understand the value of the river.

While the Tyne is now unrecognisable from the damaged, polluted river it once was, there is no doubt that there are challenges to the river’s health and our work is still needed to protect and improve this important and iconic river system.

  • We are the only environmental charity looking after our amazing Tyne, the work that we are doing is vital
  • We focus on improving river habitat by:
    • removing barriers to fish movement
    • working with farmers to reduce waste that goes into the river
    • reducing the impact of historic metal mining
    • tackling invasive species, planting trees and restoring riverbanks with our team of  volunteers
    • Educating future generations through our River School programme

Media enquiries

For media enquiries contact Kirsty McNaught on 07855720343

Back to News