About this project

Project Aims

Our cutting-edge heritage and science programmes will bring people together in learning, skills development and creative endeavours for the largest and most ambitious river restoration of its kind in Europe.  Our project had 4 main aims:

1. Bring back the shad

This important rare fish will reach it’s former freshwater habitats and all fish will have improved access to the upper reaches of the River Severn.

2. Our Severn

More people and a wider range of people will care about, visit and enjoy the River Severn making it a vibrant and exciting place to be.

3. Deepen Connections

The River Severn will become an engaging route to learning that enriches people’s lives.

4. Volunteers at the heart of heritage and science

Together we will discover, share and celebrate the stories of the River Severn, and create an amazing legacy for the future.

Our major funders – the EU LIFE programme and National Lottery Heritage Fund – have approved the project objectives shown below.

By 2017, long-term monitoring is established to effectively assess twaite shad populations and connectivity in the Rivers Severn and Teme associated with the Severn Estuary SAC. – The monitoring highlights the success of the project with data from monitoring points around and upstream of the structures on the presence of adults, and spawning success in the middle reaches of the Severn and lower reaches of the Teme.

By 2019, best practice fish access is provided for twaite shad at two man-made structures on the River Teme opening 63km of currently unreachable historic spawning habitat associated with the Severn Estuary SAC.

By 2020, best practice fish access is provided for twaite shad across five man-made structures on the River Severn opening 190km of currently inaccessible historic spawning and nursery habitat associated with the Severn Estuary Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

By 2021, twaite shad is present and suitably protected above Lincomb Weir on the River Severn and Knightsford Weir on the River Teme.

By 2021, effective trans-national exchange of best practice is established on twaite shad populations across its range in Europe. Project actions lead to the transfer of replicable actions to instigate similar projects across the Atlantic, Mediterranean, Continental and Boreal bio-regions.

By 2021, local communities understand the biological and potential social and economic value of twaite shad, the river and the SAC, in terms of its historic and present-day importance, through a series of events and dissemination actions.

More than 8m people will be engaged with our project. Our community engagement plan will deliver the following key elements:

Converting redundant Grade II workshops located at Diglis Island into a learning facility (including webcam footage of fish migration)

A comprehensive programme of activities and education for a range of audiences

An interpretation programme where people can learn more about the natural and social heritage of the River Severn

A volunteering programme

Communications and marketing campaigns to raise awareness of the project nationally and internationally

River Trainee apprenticeships

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