Diglis Island & Fish Pass Tours

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May tours of Diglis fish pass and underwater viewing gallery

 

This May, scientific monitoring becomes a huge focus for Unlocking the Severn, as we monitor the migration of the twaite shad up the River Severn. While the shad are in the river we also want to give people plenty of opportunity to come to the viewing gallery during this time. Therefore we will be running ‘fish pass only’ tours in May.

We will be running a number of drop in sessions throughout May – you do not need to book these, just come to the fish pass between the timings given and we will take small groups onto the fish pass gantry and down into the viewing gallery.

Dates for our drop in sessions are below.

May ‘Drop In’ sessions at Diglis fish pass

‘Drop In’ to the River Severn and see the amazing Diglis Fish window! Come and visit Diglis fish pass on these open events, and have the chance to see wild fish swimming through the River Severn on their migration upstream. The team are pleased to be opening up Diglis fish pass and welcoming visitors during drop in sessions this May. Just come along, no need to book and entry is free.

These sessions will operate using a queuing system and will allow people to enter the fish pass and viewing gallery in small groups. We will give each group 20 minutes in viewing gallery.

Please note Diglis underwater viewing gallery can only be accessed via a set of steps. Read our full accessibility statement HERE. These drop in sessions are just for Diglis fish pass and underwater viewing gallery, and does not include Diglis Island.  There are no toilet facilities at Diglis fish pass.

‘Drop In’ dates and times at Diglis Fish Pass. You do not need to book – just come along!

Wednesday 4th May, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40 pm)

Thursday 5th May, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40 pm)

Tuesday 10th May, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40 pm)

Wednesday 11th May, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40 pm)

Friday 13th May, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40 pm)

Saturday 14th May, 10.00 am – 12.00 pm (last entry 11.40 am)

Monday 16th May, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40 pm)

Thursday 19th May, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40 pm)

Saturday 21st May (World Fish Migration Day), 10.00 am – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40pm)

Friday 27th May, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40 pm)

Tuesday 31st May, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40 pm)

Wednesday 1st June, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40 pm)

Thursday 2nd June, 10.00 am – 12.00 pm (last entry 11.40 am)

Thursday 2nd June, 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm (last entry 3.40 pm)

Please note these may be subject to change. Tours may be cancelled without warning in the event of bad weather.

Diglis Island and Fish Pass tours

From mid-June we will once again be offering our full tours of Diglis Island and the fish pass. Information about these below. Booking is not yet open. We will be releasing the dates of these tours nearer the time.

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.

Highlights

 

– 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.

 

 

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