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Unlocking the Severn project

Representatives from our Eco Action Team visited the Upper Lode Lock in Tewkesbury to learn about the history and management of the River Severn and take part in a photography workshop: creating images to raise awareness of the ‘Unlocking the Severn’ project for an exhibition at The Hive in Worcester

We were met by Lucy Newton, the Informal Learning & Interpretation Officer from the Canal and river trust, Rosie Croggon from the Severn rivers trust and Iain Green, a nature photography tutor and Author.

We arrived at lunchtime and as we ate our sandwiches Lucy explained how the Unlocking the Severn project is working to improve biodiversity by re-opening 253 kilometres of historic spawning grounds in the UK’s longest river to fish and reconnect people and communities with the natural, cultural and industrial heritage of the river.


The focus of the project is to help a little-known member of the herring family- the Twaite Shad, migrate upstream, returning to habitats which have been inaccessible since the industrial revolution when weirs were installed to enable large boats to access cities upstream. The fish passes created for the Shad will benefit many other species, encouraging migration and increasing biodiversity on a huge scale.


The photography tutor, Iain Green provided waterproof cameras and explained how to use them to record our visit and photography techniques to produce original images. After a review of the safety rules we set off on a walk to the explore the riverside path including weir view, where the weir was covered by the flooding , and then visited the lock island where the lock keeper told us about his duties.  


We had a fantastic afternoon exploring and learning about the history geography and ecology of the area returning to school with beautiful photographs despite the inclement weather.


The project is a partnership between the Severn Rivers Trust, Canal & River Trust, Environment Agency and Natural England. Funded by the European Union’s LIFE Nature Programme and the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the partnership, this five year project is the largest river restoration of its kind currently running in Europe.


For more information on the Unlocking the Severn Project visit the official project website

To see more about our Environmental activity visit

You can view a gallery of our pictures from the day below.