Diglis Island & Fish Pass Tours

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Diglis Island and fish pass tours


During the shad season, we’ve focused our public engagement activity on running drop-in sessions at the fish pass itself.  But as the fish movements slow down through the summer, and our shad monitoring draws to a close, it is time to reinstate our brilliant combined Diglis Island and fish pass tour.

NB, please note, this tour is only available to those who have pre-booked tickets online.

The tour starts with history and heritage on Diglis Island before a guided walk around to see the modern engineering of the fish pass.  The tour lasts approximately one and a half hours.


We are now taking bookings for June and July tours on the Events tab on our website!


Dates are available until the beginning of the summer holidays, after which we will have a slightly different programme of events in place.

Note for families and children – depending on the interests and attention span of the child, the heritage section of our tour may not be as interesting for younger children.

We are however planning more family activities through the summer.  So, there will be further opportunities to come down into our viewing gallery that are more tailored for children, if you prefer to wait for them.

Joining a tour gives you a unique opportunity to step onto the private manmade island in the Severn and learn all about its history. Discover how the industrial history of the River Severn impacted wildlife and what our project has done to restore river connectivity for migrating fish.

Each tour group is then guided on a 15 minute walk around the towpath, crossing the Diglis bridge, to visit the biggest deep vertical slot fish pass in England and Wales.

Within the fish pass compound you will learn all about this impressive structure and how it works to create a swim way for fish around the weir that blocks their path. Visitors can then descend 3 flights of stairs down to the underwater viewing gallery for a chance to see any wild fish in the river that may be swimming past.

What does the tour include?

Your visit starts by crossing the lock gates onto the manmade island in the middle of the River Severn. See inside the renovated Victorian workshop and find out about the hidden history of this island. Learn how a rare species of fish – the twaite shad – was impacted when navigation weirs such as Diglis weir were built on the River Severn. We will also explain how modern engineering has allowed us to finally restore access upriver for shad to reach their traditional spawning grounds.

Next, the tour group are guided on a 15 minute walk along the riverside path to our new Diglis fish pass. This is a huge structure – 100m long, 8 metres wide and 5 metres deep; it is the biggest deep vertical slot fish pass in England and Wales. You’ll have the chance to see how water flows through this structure and provides a swimway past the weir for river fish. The tour culminates with your opportunity to descend down beneath the surface of the river into our unique underwater viewing gallery. If you are  lucky you may spot some wild fish swimming through the pass!

Our tours are offered FREE of CHARGE thanks to our volunteer Diglis Island Guides generously giving up their time to provide tours to the public. Tour dates are based on these volunteers’ availability.



– Step on this manmade island in the Severn and discover its hidden heritage

– Learn about the industrial history of the River Severn, why weirs were built, and what they meant for wildlife

– Hear the story of the courageous twaite shad, once prolific but now endangered, this fish makes an epic migration onto the River Severn every year to spawn

– Find out how our project is restoring the fortunes of shad through fish passes and how this will help all kinds of fish and the wider ecology of the river

– See the biggest fish pass of its kind in England and Wales with a unique underwater viewing gallery for your chance to spot wild fish swimming past!

The Victorian lock-making workshop

Diglis Underwater Fish Window

visitors look through the underwater window into the River Severn with Unlocking the Severn Diglis Fish Pass

Practical Information

The tour lasts approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

It starts on Diglis Lock Road, in front of the lock gates (see here for location) and finishes on the opposite side of the river at the fish pass (see here for location).

The best postcode to use is WR5 3BS.  If you are using Sat Nav, please make sure you are heading for Diglis Island not Diglis Marina!

The tour includes a walk of just under 1 kilometre from the island to the fish pass, around the towpath.

The tour is largely an outdoor event – and will take place in all weathers (unless unsafe to do so) so please dress appropriately and bring a raincoat as necessary!

Diglis is a pleasant riverside stroll or short cycle from Worcester City Centre.  Or, if you need to drive, tour visitors can park in the compound on the corner of Diglis Dock Road and Navigation Road for the duration of the tour only.  The compound will be closed and locked after the tour.

There are toilets for visitors on the Diglis Island but not at the fish pass.

Full accessibility information is available here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the trip suitable for children?

Please be aware that young children may not find the 40 minute heritage tour on Diglis Island as interesting as the adults. Families with young children may prefer to wait for a fish-pass-only visit during May when the shad migration is underway.

Will I see fish?

The fish using our fish pass are wild creatures and unfortunately we cannot guarantee when they will show up for tours. We do see more fish moving upriver in the spring when the water is warmer.  Twaite shad themselves migrate onto the river from late April or early May and leave the river around June.

Is the tour accessible for wheelchair users?

Diglis Island – the lock gates are accessible via ramps although this may vary depending on your mobility and your wheelchair.  The full accessibility statement is available here but please feel free to contact us with any further questions.

Fish Pass – the underwater viewing gallery can only be accessed via a staircase of 36 steps.  We are currently developing some additional video materials on tablets for visitors who are unable to use the stairs down to the window.

Can I bring my dog?

We allow dogs onto the fish pass terrace, however we do not allow dogs  into the underwater viewing gallery (with the exception of service dogs).

Tour location

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