Do you want to help continue the legacy of a once-in-a-lifetime river restoration project?

Volunteering Opportunities

Explorers Education Volunteer

Help children discover the magic of the river through our River Explorers programme. Join a passionate team of volunteers and staff in Worcester. Help to lead sessions for school groups, and other young people, and teach the next generation about the River Severn. Based on Diglis Island, the Explorer Education Volunteers use the Unlocking the Severn project as a case study to inspire visiting school groups. The sessions are well tailored to school curriculums, educating children on topics such as Rivers, Local History, Habitats and STEM.


Register your interest in this volunteering opportunity by visiting the Canal & River Trust’s webpage.

Diglis Island Guides

The Diglis Island Guides lead our tours of Diglis Island and Diglis Fish Pass in Worcester. Our tours begin on the lock island, enabling people to learn more about the important role it played in the history of the region’s waterways and the lives of the people who worked there. You will then lead visitors round to the fish pass and underwater viewing gallery, telling the story of the endangered twaite shad fish and how the fish passes are being used to help migratory fish. We need the help of warm, friendly and enthusiastic volunteers to make this possible.

Find out more about this opportunity by emailing: [email protected].

Register your interest via the Canal & River Trust website here.

Fish Pass Volunteer

Come and join our team of Fish Pass Volunteers: a unique volunteering opportunity helping to improve the biodiversity of the River Severn and engaging people with the river environment. You will have the opportunity to continue the work of Unlocking the Severn, conserving endangered fish populations, through inspecting and maintaining our 4 fish passes.

This includes helping with our weekly drain-downs at Diglis fish pass, and getting stuck in cleaning the viewing gallery window from inside the 100m long fish pass! You will also have the opportunity to visit Holt and Lincomb fish passes to carry out essential maintenance and monitoring. Your efforts will ensure the fish passes can continue to support migratory fish, like the twaite shad, and enable important scientific monitoring and community engagement to take place.

What skills are we looking for?

No specialist skills required. This activity would suit anyone with enthusiasm for conservation, doing something outdoors or open to new experiences! As the sites are distanced along the river, access to transport or willingness to lift share is useful. We welcome all to get involved and if you require any additional support then please let us know and we can help you to be part of this volunteer opportunity.

Due to a huge amount of interest, we have pressed pause on recruitment for this volunteering opportunity. 

We have unlocked the UK’s longest river for people and wildlife – including restoring 158 miles of habitat for one of our country’s rarest fish.

Thanks to people giving a little bit of their time, we can achieve so much more. Through volunteering you can meet new people, learn new skills and get active outdoors. And if you love the river, you could pass-it-on by helping others to learn and be inspired by the awesome River Severn.

Engaging Communities

We’re passionate about the River Severn, its wildlife and its heritage. If you are too, we’d love your help to bring the stories of the river to life for the communities that live alongside it. Volunteers are key to help us run educational activities, speak to visitors at our exhibitions & heritage sites, or support Unlocking the Severn events.

Volunteering opportunities include:

– Diglis Island Guide (scroll to the top of the webpage for more info)

– Explorers Education Volunteer (scroll to the top of the webpage for more info)

Here are some ways volunteers have already helped the project:

Shad counting (Spring 2019-2023) – volunteers helped monitor shad movements and numbers at Upper Lode weir in Tewkesbury by counting the number of shad seen going over a notch in the weir. The human count was used alongside radio tagging of shad, DNA tests on water samples, and high-tech fish counting equipment to estimate the migrating population and better understand shad behaviour

Freshwater wildlife surveys – Thanks to the help of volunteers we were able to do freshwater mussel surveys around Powick Weir before any work took place there. This checked for rare species so that we could move these amazing creatures upstream to avoid disturbance. We also supported a growing network of riverfly volunteers who help to monitor the health of the river.

Stories of the Severn – 36 volunteers across three counties delved into the archives in Gloucester, Worcester and Shrewsbury. The volunteers all share an interest in the River Severn: some grew up close to the Severn, others have worked on or by the river. Learning new skills, or building on previous archive experience, the volunteers explored the catalogues ordered historic documents to examine. Building on personal interests, volunteers chose different lines of research to pursue, all relating to the river.

Green Team – Set up in January 2020, The Green Team are our conservation group based on Diglis Island. The volunteers have helped turn the island from an unmanaged space into a haven for people and wildlife. Find out more about the Green Team.

Canal & River Trust Explorer Volunteers – volunteers from the Worcester Explorers team help support our educational activities. These volunteers have experience in inspiring young children and are giving their time helping the next generation experience the magic of the waterways. Find out more about the Explorer Volunteers.

Diglis Island Guides – Our DIGs lead the tours of Diglis Island and the fish pass in Worcester. In the first year of running tours (October 2021 – 2022) they welcomed over 6,000 visitors to these sites. Find out more about the Diglis Island Guides.

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