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Belfast Telegraph Love to learn: All about water, week 2

This page has been specially designed and written for thousands of pupils from across Northern Ireland who are doing the Belfast Telegraph cross-curricular project themed on water. Over a six-week period we are focusing on oceans around the world, rivers across Northern Ireland and the threats to water.

Arctic Ocean

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world’s five oceans, encompassing an area of 5,427,000 square miles.

It is located within the Arctic Circle, occupying the region around the North Pole, and is almost completely covered by ice in the winter, which is why it was once called the Frozen Ocean.

The Arctic Ocean is surrounded by countries including Russia, Norway, Greenland, Iceland, Canada and the United States of America.

Polar bears hunt on the ice of the Arctic Ocean, where lots of marine life live such as seals, whales, jellyfish and fish. It is interesting to note that more fish species are found in the Arctic Ocean than anywhere else in the world.

Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen was the first person to cross this ocean by boat in 1896.

Now many scientific expeditions take place in this area, which is threatened by the potential effects of global warming.

River Blackwater

The River Blackwater flows through sections of County Tyrone and County Armagh and forms part of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

It is 56.75 miles (91.3km) long and is considered to have one of the best canoe trails in Northern Ireland.

Starting from Murley Mountain above Fivemiletown, it flows between Tyrone and County Monaghan in the Republic before then heading towards County Armagh, entering Lough Neagh west of Derrywarragh Island.

The Blackwater has a host of tributaries. They include Coalisland Canal, River Torrent, River Tall, Callan River, River Oona and River Tynan, which is a small river flowing through the Tynan estate in County Armagh.

My favourite water pastime

Name: Anna Cairns

Age: 9

School: Enniskillen Model Primary School

My favourite water pastime is swimming.  I have been swimming since I was very young.  I was taught breaststroke by my granny.

At the age of six, I achieved my 100m badge and last summer I managed to swim 3000m.

On holidays I enjoy going on trips to water parks and swimming in  wave pools.

In November 2015 I joined my local swimming club, The Enniskillen Lakelanders Association. Here I learned to swim butterfly, backstroke, front crawl and how to improve on my breaststroke. 

I have moved up to a new group and now train three times a week. I love going to Lakelanders and I have made lots of new friends in the club. The coaches are very helpful and encouraging.

My favourite stroke is breaststroke  because it is my strongest, though I am working hard on my butterfly as I find the technique difficult.

I have been to several galas with the Lakelanders squad, competing in all strokes. I enjoyed these experiences.

In the future, my goal is to win a medal at one of these galas.

Agricultural pollution

Farm animal waste can cause water pollution that can be harmful to both human beings and fish.

In the past manure spills and intentional manure dumping at factory farms has caused the death of thousands of fish. This is known as fish kill.

Often in agricultural settings herbicides are sprayed to kill weeds, while pesticides are sprayed on crops to kill bugs.

However, when these strong chemicals get into water, they can contaminate rivers and lakes through accidental spills.

Fertilizers, manure and waste turn into nitrate, which reduces the amount of oxygen in water, resulting in aquatic animals dying.

Keeping agricultural

pollution down has proved difficult, but governments and farmers are now more aware of the situation and are searching for solutions.


Did you know  that 1.1 billion people have no access to  safe water?  That is about  15% of the global population.

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