This spring, a series of mindful photography courses, called My Severn, provided participants with the opportunity to slow down, connect with nature, and see the River Severn and its wildlife through a new lens. We are excited to announce an exhibition of this photography will be on display at Diglis Island. Read on to find out more.

As well as providing hope for an endangered species of fish, another central focus of Unlocking the Severn was reaching out into surrounding communities. By connecting with millions of people through media coverage, school visits, workshops and events, we hope to encourage individuals to reconnect with the UK’s longest river.

The River Severn has played an important role in our nation’s history and has supported the vital biodiversity that we need to thrive.  Alongside this, we are only just beginning to understand the wellbeing benefits that spending time by water and in nature can deliver.

As part of Unlocking the Severn’s programme of events and activities, the project has facilitated several mindful photography workshops and courses. These sessions were titled My Severn, and took place around the River Severn in Gloucester and Worcester.  Working with Look Again, these impactful sessions taught participants to slow down, look again at things from a different perspective, and reconnect with their surroundings through mindful photography techniques.

The methodology of mindful photography

The Look Again mindful photography methodology is creative, experimental, accessible and fun. It is evidenced by academic research from the University of Gloucestershire.  The approach has allowed for individuals to reduce anxiety and depression, improving mental health and wellbeing, focus and motivation.

Our My Severn participants have reported an increase in self-esteem and confidence as well as the ability to build resilience and adapt to changing circumstances – a life skill that is becoming so increasingly important in this ever changing world.

Collaboration with The Hive, Worcester

And what better place to hold such an activity than on the banks of the beautiful River Severn.  Participants were also invited to Worcester’s iconic library, The Hive.  A partnership between the University of Worcester and Worcestershire County Council, the built architecture of this riverside facility featured as the subject of some of the participants photography.

The Hive are celebrating their 10th Anniversary this year which happens to be the same celebration as one of  Unlocking the Severn’s delivery partners – the Canal & River Trust!  As part of these celebrations, the Hive will be sharing some of the photos captured during the groups visit on their social media throughout the months of August and September.  Make sure you follow them on their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and keep an eye on our social media channels too! @SevernUnlocked

An exhibition at Diglis Island

To showcase the beautiful work created by all the My Severn participants, the Unlocking the Severn team are excited to announce the launch of the live My Severn Exhibition which will be on display inside Diglis Island Workshop on Monday 1st August, 10-4pm and Saturday 6th August,1-4pm. Come and visit the exhibition and see the incredible photos and impact statements submitted by participants.  Find out more by visiting our Events page.

Photo credits: Ruth Davey, Look Again.


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