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.