Cel­e­brat­ing shads

Canal Boat - - News -

FANCY GO­ING TO a Sev­ern shad fes­ti­val? What is it? Well, it’s an event the Canal & River Trust is aim­ing to or­gan­ise af­ter nearly £ 20 mil­lion in fund­ing was re­ceived to help bring shad back to the River Sev­ern.

The twaite shad and its close cousin, al­lis, are both mem­bers of the her­ring fam­ily. Like the sal­mon, they spend the ma­jor­ity of their time liv­ing at sea but re­turn to fresh­wa­ter to breed in the spring.

To­day, there are only four spawn­ing twaite shad pop­u­la­tions left in the UK. Luck­ily, there is enough spawn­ing habi­tat for shad in the Sev­ern and Teme be­low Diglis in Worcester for the species to have just about hung on.

Fish passes will be in­stalled at weirs on the Sev­ern in Worces­ter­shire and Glouces­ter­shire which will al­low shad ac­cess to their his­toric spawn­ing grounds in the up­per reaches of the river.

An im­por­tant part of the pro­pos­als in­cludes in­volv­ing the com­mu­nity in the pro­posed work. So CRT plans to roll out a pro­gramme of ac­tiv­i­ties aimed at rais­ing pub­lic aware­ness of not just the shad, but of the wider aquatic en­vi­ron­ment and the other species that de­pend upon it, and will in­clude an an­nual Sev­ern Shad fes­ti­val.

The scheme was de­vel­oped by the Sev­ern Rivers Trust, the Canal & River Trust, the En­vi­ron­ment Agency and Nat­u­ral Eng­land, and fund­ing in­cludes £10.8 mil­lion from the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund and £ 6 mil­lion from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion.

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