Volunteering

Do you want to be part of a once-in-a-lifetime river restoration project?

We have big plans to unlock 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.

People Powered Science

Our rivers are full of remarkable wildlife and we need your help to document and better-understand life underwater! Perhaps you can join our team of volunteers and help monitor migrating fish in the river at Tewkesbury or Worcester? Or maybe you would like to find out what lives in a stream near you?

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.

Practical conservation groups

Do you want to take action to improve your local river? We run practical conservation tasks along the Severn to improve the river environment for people and wildlife. Do you fancy getting involved with river clean ups, vegetation management including invasive species removal or other tasks such as path clearance or tee planting? If so, then get it touch to see how you can get involved.

Volunteering Opportunities

Shad Migration Volunteer

This volunteer activity involves visiting the riverbank in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire in Spring, and helping us collect valuable data as fish migrate upstream. It requires watching a notch in the weir for periods of about 20 minutes and counting rare shad as they pass through. We use this fish count data to help estimate the migrating shad numbers and get a better understanding of their migration behaviour. No previous experience necessary!

Full training and equipment will be provided. All volunteers will have to attend a 1 hour training session prior to participating in this volunteer role.

The shad migration usually starts in late April and finishes in late May/early June.

Find out more about Fish Migration

We have finished recruitment for the 2022 shad season, but you can still register your interest for getting involved next year.

Register your interest for future volunteering opportunities.

Shad Spawning Acoustics Volunteer

This volunteer activity involves visiting the riverbank at night to listen for shad spawning activity. All volunteer sessions will be conducted in small groups with project staff present. It requires walking stretches of the riverbank between 11pm and 2am, recording any spawning activity. This monitoring will take place north of Worcester starting at Grimley and North Claines.

We will use this data to help get a better understanding of shad spawning behaviour.

No previous experience is necessary! Full training and equipment will be provided. All volunteers will have to attend a virtual 1 hour training session prior to participating in this volunteer role.

The shad spawning monitoring will take place on up to two nights a week throughout May/ early June (providing conditions are suitable).

Find out more about Fish Migration

We have finished recruitment for the 2022 shad season, but you can still register your interest for getting involved next year.

Register your interest for future volunteering opportunities.

Diglis Fish Pass Window Cleaning Volunteer

A unique one-off volunteering opportunity at Diglis Fish Pass in Worcester. Enter the drained fish pass in waders and see it from an entirely new perspective! Take in the incredible feat of engineering from within. Roll up your sleeves and get stuck in scrubbing the gallery viewing window and LED panel.

What skills are we looking for?

No prior skills are needed – just lots of energy and enthusiasm!
The fish pass clean will take place on a week day, every 1-2 weeks and can only take place if the weather and river conditions are suitable. For this reason, once you have registered interest we will get in contact with you to arrange further details for this unique volunteering opportunity.

Please note:

– Only suitable for volunteers 16+
– Fish pass and gallery are only accessible via steps
– This volunteering opportunity is a one off and is ideal for 2-3 people per session.
– It will take around 1 ½ hours.
– Once you have registered interest we will get in contact with you to arrange further details for your unique volunteering opportunity.
– Due to varying environmental conditions you may need to be flexible with your dates to attend the session.
– All training and equipment will be provided and you will be supervised at all times

THIS VOLUNTEERING ACTIVITY IS CURRENTLY FULLY BOOKED UNTIL THE SUMMER.

Explorers and Guides

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. See more information about getting involved.

Diglis Island Guides – We plan to recruit volunteers to help at Diglis Island in Worcester. Once visitor facilities are complete, we’re planning to host public open days 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. We need the help of warm, friendly and enthusiastic volunteers to make this possible. Volunteers will attend open days on the island, provide a point of information, and working with the team to make sure visitors have a safe and enjoyable visit.  Register your  interest and we can contact you once we start recruiting volunteer island guides.

Register your interest for current and future volunteering opportunities.

Here are some ways volunteers have already helped the project:

Fish monitoring 2019 – 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’re also supporting a growing network of riverfly volunteers who help to monitor the health of the river.

Stories of the Severn – 36 volunteers across three counties have been delving 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. We look forward to sharing facts and stories with you on social media, the website and as part of Unlocking the Severn exhibitions and send a big thank-you to all the volunteers for their diligent investigations.

Canal & River Trust Explorers – 4 volunteers from the Worcester Explorers team have already supported 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.

Get in touch

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