Shad Symposium

Information for delegates & link to register

Dates and Venue

Tuesday 24 May – Wednesday 25 May

Worcestershire County Cricket Club, New Road, Worcester WR2 4QQ

See location on google maps

This technical conference will present many new scientific findings from our Unlocking the Severn shad monitoring programme gained over the last 5 years.  Additionally, the symposium will also feature a range of talks from invited guests covering the latest shad research from across Europe, and insights from other river restoration projects.


Who is the Symposium for?

The Shad Symposium will be free of charge to attend and is predominantly for anyone directly involved in fisheries science/management; conservation organisations; universities and research institutions; environmental consultants; policy makers including Government departments, local authorities; and organisations responsible for the reporting and management of shad as part of the Habitats Directive from across Europe. It will be a great opportunity to meet and discuss all things shad, river restoration and fish passes.

Other interested members of the public can also apply to enter a ballot for a limited number of lecture tickets allowing them to attend the presentations in the morning only – more details will be released by early May.


Programme & Itinerary

The Shad Symposium will take place in Worcester over two days, on Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 May 2022. The programme of talks will be held in the mornings starting at 9am at Worcestershire County Cricket Club, right by the River Severn.  There will also be organised field trips for delegates in the afternoons.

We have a wide-ranging programme of around 20 talks which will be delivered over two mornings. This will cover a range of topics drawn from the themes of: freshwater migration, life at sea, management and restoration of shad, threats to shad, and monitoring techniques.

For more details about the talks and speakers, download the latest version of the programme below.  Please note that the programme is not yet final and may change.

Field Trips

Over the course of the two days, delegates will have an opportunity to join field trips in the afternoons to see some of the 6 fish passage improvements made as part of the Unlocking the Severn project, that have now unlocked over 250km of migratory pathways for shad and many other species.

Please note that the field trips may be subject to change depending on river conditions and safety considerations, and places will be assigned once all registrations have been received.

Both field trips will require several hundred metres of walking as some of the sites are quite remote, and Diglis fish pass viewing gallery is only accessible via steps. Please contact us if you would like more information about accessibility.

Diglis Fish Pass and Viewing Gallery

A visit to Diglis to see the largest deep vertical slot pass in England and Wales, built as part of Unlocking the Severn. Including your chance to descend down into the underwater viewing gallery.

This trip will also include a tour of the historic lock island and a chance to learn more about the history of the Severn navigation and the heritage legacy of Unlocking the Severn. Delegates can continue onto a self-guided tour of historic Worcester, taking in the many cultural sights alongside the River Severn.

Bevere & Holt Fish Passes

At Bevere you will see the only column pass constructed as part of Unlocking the Severn – pictured here.

At the deep vertical slot pass at Holt, delegates will learn more about the complex challenges posed by a site with no land access where all materials and machinery had to be transported by boat.


What is included for delegates?

The symposium is provided by the Unlocking the Severn Project and our funders and registration is free.  Included free-of-charge to professional delegates is:

– Refreshments at the venue and lunch on both days.

– Transport for those wishing to participate in the field trips on each day

– A delegate dinner on the evening of Tuesday 24 May. This will be an informal meal, with plenty of opportunity to mingle and discuss learnings with other delegates in a relaxed setting.

Please note that delegates will need to make their own arrangements to book and pay for travel, subsistence, and hotel accommodation in Worcester.

Travel & accommodation

Worcester is served by three train stations, Worcester Foregate Street and Shrub Hill both walking distance to the venue, while Worcester Parkway will require a taxi transfer.

For those arriving by air the nearest international airports are Birmingham (good train links via Birmingham) and Bristol.  For those arriving via the London airports connections are not so straight forward and a hire car maybe the best option.

There are several hotels in the city within 1km of the venue, including:

Premier Inn Worcester City Centre (adjoining the conference venue)
Browns at the Quay
Diglis House Hotel
Travelodge Worcester
Fownes Hotel

Please see here for a comprehensive list of accommodation available in Worcester, with options for all tastes and budgets.

About Worcester

The Symposium is being held in a beautiful riverside location close to the centre of the city. Worcester is a compact, historic city with a modern university.  It is famous for the magnificent medieval cathedral overlooking the River Severn. Surrounded by rolling countryside with many local beauty spots, Worcester is within easy access of transport hubs in Birmingham (the UK’s second city), Bristol and London.

Find out more about visiting Worcester:

City tours and walking trails

View across the River Severn of New Road Cricket Ground, where the conference is taking place in their modern conferencing facilities.

View of the 100m long deep vertical slot fish pass at Diglis Worcester.  This is located just a short walk along the river from the conference venue.  See map below.

Aerial view of Diglis fish pass and weir.

Monitoring scientists catching twaite shad in a trap for acoustic tagging, at Upper Lode Weir on the River Severn at Tewkesbury.

Map of Worcester

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