Life through a lens: The riverbank

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By John Davisteacher and freelance writer

Explore a typical British riverbank with our stunning new interactive environment series

Riverbank illustration

A healthy river habitat provides food, shelter and nesting sites for insects, birds and animals. Talk about the parts of the river where you are likely to see most creatures and the locations where they make their homes. For instance, swans, moorhens and insects like the water boatman, will usually be found on the surface of the water. Dragonflies and kingfishers fly over the river, while water voles and water shrews live in the riverbanks. Frogs, while living out of the water for much of the time, still need the river for breeding.

Discuss how the different creatures in the poster move around. Swans and moorhens can both fly, but usually stay on the water surface or walk on the bank. Voles, shrews and otters have four legs, but are excellent swimmers. Kingfishers dive to catch fish, while dragonflies spend much of the time on the wing. Pond skaters and water boatmen glide lightly across the surface of the river.

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