We’ve love to introduce you to our new River Conservation Placement volunteers…


During summer 2021, the Unlocking the Severn project will be joined by a team of River Conservation Placement Volunteers. These volunteers are all either students, or graduates, and are with us to learn some valuable practical skills related to river conservation. We’ll be working together with Severn Rivers Trust to undertake an electrofishing survey of the Severn Catchment, and will also be joining some of the other volunteer groups on Unlocking the Severn, helping out on a variety of practical days.



Hi, my name’s Abi and I am currently studying for a masters in River Environments and their Management at the University of Birmingham, having graduated with a BSc Geography degree in summer 2020. COVID-19 has meant that I have struggled to gain hands on experience in river conservation and therefore this placement will provide me with excellent practical skills in the field. I’m looking forward to working alongside staff and fellow volunteers to learn more about the conservation work that is going on in projects across the Severn catchment, as well as improving my ecological survey techniques and learning more about the fish that live within our rivers. I’ve only just started the placement and I’ve learnt so much already and I’m excited to see what the rest of the placement brings, so roll on summer!


Abi collecting her dissertation data at a site on the Afon Rheidol in west Wales.



Hi, fellow river newbies and enthusiasts! My name’s Hannah and I’ve recently gained a place on one of the exciting River Conservation Placements. If you are familiar with Severn Rivers Trust’s blogs, you may have already come across me due to a piece I wrote on finding work during a pandemic (read it here). During that piece I touched on my story so far, but I’ll give you a quick recap here. I graduated a Wildlife Conservation degree at the end of 2019 and, as we all know, shortly after that the world was flipped on its head. As a recent graduate in a field that was already incredibly competitive before the pandemic, jobs, and even volunteering, became almost impossible to find in the environmental sector. Luckily, I heard about Unlocking the Severn/Severn Rivers Trust’s Careers in River Conservation event (watch here) and off the back of that gained a remote volunteering role with Unlocking the Severn (counting the fabulous but widely unknown migratory fish – the twaite shad). During this volunteering I discovered my love for rivers and their wildlife. I had such a blast working with Unlocking the Severn that I knew I had to continue working with them in whatever way I could.

As fate would have it, shortly after I finished my remote volunteering, this placement was advertised and I jumped at it. So, it’s all systems go from here and by the looks of things this placement is going to provide me with so much knowledge and experience!




Hi, my name’s Alex! I joined the River Conservation placements because I have always been interested in the ecology of river systems. I’m hoping this placement will provide me with some experience and practical skills, which will enable me to secure a job that aids in the restoration of our river systems towards their historic biodiversity and abundance of life. I’m looking forward to gaining more experience working on actual ongoing conservation work, a field that I want to build a career within. More specifically, I’m mostly looking forward to getting hands on with the catching and sampling of a range of fish species. Having studied Marine Biology at university, I am excited to expand my knowledge of freshwater systems and improve my freshwater fish identification skills. I’d also be interested to see how different human impacts are affecting fish species abundance and their population composition.

Alex, fishing on the river Severn


Keep an eye on the ‘Updates’ section of the website to hear more about the placements throughout the summer!




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