News article created on 24 April 2020

Vital work to resume on unlocking the Severn project

Fish pass construction to take advantage of easier river conditions in spring and summer

River Severn at Worcester River Severn at Worcester

Construction of four fish passes along the River Severn in Worcestershire, paused on 25 March due to the coronavirus pandemic, is set to resume in the coming days.

Unlocking the Severn project

The Unlocking the Severn project team has worked extensively with the contractor, Kier, to develop safe working practices to ensure work can be undertaken in accordance with government guidance.

Three of the project’s sites at Bevere, Lincomb and Holt, are remote and the work can be carried out without any restrictions to the public.  At one site, at Diglis, a short section of the narrow riverside path by the works won’t be available for periods between 7.30am and 6pm on Mondays to Fridays. This will ensure the public and site staff are separated and are able to follow social distancing rules.  Signage will be on site to show the alternative route.

Keeping safe while working

Jason Leach, programme director, explains: “We’re following government guidance to keep everyone safe while we take this opportunity to make progress on constructing the fish passes whilst river levels are low.

"Works were previously held up by the prolonged River Severn flooding over winter and this is a great chance to take advantage of the drier spring and summer weather and lower river levels make work easier and safer, whilst undertaking this work during the lockdown also means there is less traffic and reduced disruption to the public.

"Please help us by respecting social distancing guidelines if you are in the area.” 

One of the largest projects of its time

The Unlocking the Severn project is one of the largest of its kind ever attempted in Europe and has been made possible through funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the European Union LIFE programme. Unlocking the Severn is being led by us with our partners, Severn Rivers Trust, Environment Agency and Natural England.