Secret Underwater Worlds

There is an amazing secret underwater world in our rivers. Below the surface lies many tiny creatures which are a vital part of the river system. Find out about some of the creatures and make your own invertebrate by clicking on the links below.

From Freshwater Shrimps to Mayfly Nymphs, they play an important part in keeping the river clean and providing food for bigger fish, animals and birds. However, these microscopic creatures are more delicate than they first appear. Their homes are constantly under threat from pollution and the changing environment. If they disappeared, the delicate balance of the river system would be disrupted, meaning fewer fish, birds and other wildlife living in, and by the river.

Find out about the secret underwater world of our rivers - watch the film at the top of the page.

Make your own creature

1. Print out an invertebrate template (see bottom of page). These are best printed onto card.

2. Decorate your invertebrate using pens, pencils or collage materials. Look closely at the photographs of the real creatures to get inspiration. They have amazing bodies which are adapted for the specific environment they live in: tiny gills, hairs on their legs, flat saucer eyes.

Send us a photograph of your creature for our gallery, email it as a jpg or gif to