The Severn Rivers Trust is the only organisation that covers the whole of the UK’s longest river in both England and Wales.
Our vision for the Severn is: A healthy, resilient river Severn for everyone.
We are an independent charity established in 2008 to protect and enhance the river Severn, its tributaries and streams. We are living through a time of great change. We are in the middle of a biodiversity crisis, and a climate emergency. We are witnessing disastrous loss of habitat, collapse of ecosystems, erosion of precious soils, increased flooding and devastating drought.
At Severn Rivers Trust we are fighting for a future where our children and grand children can enjoy healthy vibrant rivers teeming with diverse and wonderful life – from Atlantic salmon to white clawed crayfish, and from freshwater pearl mussels to European eel. We want to preserve these special places for everyone to enjoy – to walk, play,swim, paddle and make lasting memories.
Can you help? We need support from volunteers, donors and partners to ensure we can spread our message and make a difference on the river.
We are passionate about rivers, their wildlife and the people who love them. We hope you are inspired by our work and that you want to make a difference, with us or on your own river.
We are a team of passionate and enthusiastic river champions. Our motto is ‘we get our feet wet’ – meaning we make things happen on the ground and constantly strive to make a real and positive difference for the river and its communities. Our staff at the trust are organised into four working areas:
Our river restoration team are experts in freshwater ecology, research and monitoring, as well as having the practical knowledge and skills to manage in-stream improvements for fish and other wildlife.
We do things like:
· Removing artificial obstacles and barriers or installing new fish passes so fish can move freely up or down the river, including the iconic Atlantic Salmon which migrates to the River Severn from the sea to breed
· ‘Re-wiggling’or naturalising river channels that have been straightened and modified so that they provide better wildlife habitats, help to lower flood risk and are nicer places to visit
· Surveys and monitoring to understand more about the health of the river, freshwater species and how they are impacted by human activities
Our community engagement team work hard to share our enthusiasm and passion for rivers through a wide variety of activities to help people feel the benefits of vibrant healthy rivers
Our work includes:
· Inspiring children by running trips and activities for schools with curriculum areas such as art, science, technology, and engineering
· Varied volunteering opportunities including river clean-ups, tree planting and helping us behind the scenes
· Citizen Science programmes where people can gain skills to help collect data and contribute to important scientific monitoring
Our team of knowledgeable farm and wildlife advisors are out in all weathers working with landowners to identify the potential economic as well as environmental benefits of sustainable land management practices.
Work we do:
· Advice and support for farmers on site, and the creation of dedicated farm and water management plans.
· Identifying the potential for habitat creation, natural flood management and carbon capture on farms, for example through targeted tree planting, wetland creation, and sustainable soil and nutrient management.
· Providing practical solutions that save money and benefit the environment such as farm water harvesting and improving manure and slurry stores.
· Working with partners to develop innovative techniques to help achieve more sustainable land practices.
Finance and operations
A core team of staff provide financial and administrative expertise to keep the whole Trust running smoothly and make sure we are all on track!
Our Board of volunteer Trustees bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the Severn Rivers Trust. Our Trustees come from a variety of backgrounds including river specialisms, academia, finance and industry. We are extremely grateful for their support and leadership.
Hello from our Chair of Trustees: Tony Harvey
It was a pleasure to become a trustee of Severn Rivers Trust in February 2022 when I was able to benefit from advice and support from the previous chair Dr Anne Wheeler. After becoming Acting Chair when Anne retired, it was a great honour for me to be elected permanently to the role by my fellow trustees at the 2022 AGM.
Before retirement I held a variety of senior management posts at the Canal & River Trust including managing the West Midlands waterways and Head of National Programmes. Prior employment includes posts at the West Midlands Regional Development Agency; a government body which was the forerunner to Natural England; and a renowned architectural practice. My academic qualifications include a law degree and a post graduate diploma and masters degree in environmental management. Prior to retirement I was a chartered town planner.
Previously held non-executive director roles include appointments at a heritage industrial museum; a city children’s outdoor activity centre; and a community regeneration company in Stourport on Severn. As a keen (but not always successful) fly angler I sit on the committees of two long-established clubs with river and stream fishing beats mainly along the Welsh border. I represent fishing club interests in areas such as the Clun Catchment partnership’s work in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
I am committed to an integrated management approach to the improvement of the Severn catchment and I have a keen interest in the role of community and wider partnerships in delivery of sustainable development. Living in Ironbridge within sight of the Severn and having worked nearby, travelled along and crossed the river so many times, coupled with literally getting my feet wet in the river whilst fishing, adds up to a close personal connection for me. I am looking forward to contributing to the health and vibrancy of the river working with my colleagues at the Severn Rivers Trust.