The new year is a time to make resolutions and plans for the year ahead. Make the most of your new motivation to get out and about, and plan some time by the river. We all know that our wellbeing is extremely important, spending time outside either in green spaces or by the water is an easy and free way to take care of our mental health in the year ahead. To help you get started, we have put together some great things that you can do at or near the river this coming year.
If you wanted to experience being on the river instead of beside it then you could hire a narrow boat and have a short or longer break. There are a range of routes departing from Worcester that take you along part of the river. For more information follow the link https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canal-and-river-network/river-severn-navigation
See the Severn Bore
The Severn Bore is on of Britain’s few truly spectacular natural phenomena. It is a large surge wave that starts in the estuary of the River Severn, where the tidal range is the 2nd highest in the world, being as much as 50 feet. It is seen on the tidal reaches of the River Severn, it is formed when the rising tide moves into the funnel-shape of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary and the surging water forces its way upstream in a series of waves, as far as Gloucester and beyond. For more information on where and when to see the Bore follow the link.
Boat Cruises on the River
There are a range of cruise operators that are situated along the River Severn including; Upton, Tewkesbury, Shrewsbury and more. These cruises provide the opportunity to see and experience the river from a new perspective, some operators offer both daytime and evening cruises among other events!
Rowing on the River Severn
Rowing has a long, proud history in Britain and there are a range of rowing clubs situated along the river. These clubs are both for teaching beginners to row, recreational rowing or competitive rowing. There are a number of rowing clubs along the River Severn – from Pengern Boat Club and Adventure Rowing Club in Shrewsbury, and clubs at Bridgenorth, Bewdley, Stourport, Worcester, Upton, Tewkesbury (AB Rowing) and Gloucester. Many run introductions to rowing courses, so do take a look if you’ve always fancied sculling along the river!
Foraging gives you an opportunity to explore your local green spaces gain a new perspective on wild plants as well as bringing some new tastes to your table. There are resources that can be found online as well as in books, the following link provides a good overview of foraging; http://www.wildfoodschool.co.uk/urban/wfsURBANGUIDE.pdf
Visit our travelling exhibition!
Summer 2020 marks the beginning of our immersive shad themed Travelling Exhibition which will be travelling from The Hive in Worcester to Enginuity in Ironbridge and onto Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery. The exhibition will bring the underwater world to life in a whole new way that is accessible to all. Find out more by keeping an eye on our website; https://www.unlockingthesevern.co.uk/
Try paddle boarding
As well as rowing (mentioned above) there is also the opportunity to paddle board in several places on the River Severn. For more information about paddle boarding follow this link; https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canoeing-and-kayaking/paddle-boarding-the-basics For some places that offer paddle boarding we have included a (by no means exhaustive) list of operators below;
https://www.shirecanoes.com/paddleboarding-hire-lessons, https://www.supgloucester.co.uk/, http://www.livetheadventure.co/training/sup/river-trips/, https://www.shropshirerafttours.co.uk/stand-up-paddle-boards/
Set yourself a walking challenge
You could try setting yourself a personal walking challenge this year, picking 2 towns on the River Severn and set yourself the challenge to walk the severn way between them. This could be done in one go or several legs depending on your personal goals. For information on the Severn Way follow this link; https://www.ldwa.org.uk/ldp/members/show_path.php?path_name=Severn+Way
Spot a kingfisher in 2020!
The more time you spend by the river the more chance you have to see a kingfisher. They can be seen as a flash of blue in flight and heard as a peep-peep-peep. They can often be seen on vegetation overhanging slower flowing spots of the river, near high banks where they can burrow. Find more tips here; https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canal-and-river-wildlife/a-spotters-guide-to-waterway-wildlife/kingfisher-waterway-wildlife
Why don’t you explore a photography project?
The River Severn provides a wonderful artistic inspiration, as such you could use it set yourself a photography project. For example, try capturing a fixed river view through all the seasons or you could focus on taking images of reflections off the water. We’d love to see the results – do share them with us!
Have you thought about volunteering with us on the Unlocking the Severn project? We have a number of volunteering opportunities becoming available during our project, including; supporting our learning team, guides and shad monitoring. Volunteering can provide positive benefits to both mental and physical health, it is proven to help counteract the effects of stress, anxiety and depression as well as helping to increase self-confidence. For more information follow the link; https://www.unlockingthesevern.co.uk/volunteering/
Try a walk at a different time of day
Why not try taking a walk along the river at a different time of day, – sunrise, dusk, or even full moon night walk – It may enable you to gain a new perspective on a familiar landscape. Do consider your safety. Take a friend, and a torch, just in case!
We hope that this gives you some great ideas of ways to get out and about by the river this coming year!