Shoebox river

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This week we’ve got the fifth challenge from our Six Summer Challenges booklet, the shoebox river, as well as a saltwater experiment for you to have a go at. The Wildlife Fact file in this set of resources is all about the White-clawed crayfish, the only crayfish native to the UK.

We have introduced these online learning opportunities in response to Covid-19, which has prevented us from going into schools in the Ribble Catchment as we normally would. This is our way of bringing our educational topics to you at home so you can continue to learn all about rivers and wildlife.


The fifth challenge in our 2020 Summer Challenges is to create a shoebox river. For this challenge you can use your imagination and get creative by making your very own river in a shoebox. You can use anything you want for this, just remember that rivers need trees and meanders (bends)!

Download the full Six Summer Challenges booklet by clicking on the cover page below:

Below are two worksheets, the first details some instructions you can use as a guide but feel free to try out different materials – what else can you dissolve in water and what other objects can you try out? The second worksheet tells you what results you should be seeing and why.

Can you come up with your own hypotheses and results explanations for some different materials?

If you’d like to share them, please send us photos of your shoebox rivers and saltwater experiments to

Wildlife Fact file

This week’s Wildlife Fact file is about the White-clawed crayfish. Read the fact file below or click to open the pdf. Below the fact file there is a comparison picture to see the differences between the native White-clawed crayfish and alien invasive North American Signal crayfish.