Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery
The Square Shrewsbury
At our Travelling Exhibition visitors will gain an insight into the world beneath the river’s surface and be introduced to an endangered fish – the twaite shad – that historically undertook an epic annual River Severn migration.
We reveal the River Severn as a wild, watery highway for fish and nature. And we invite you to glimpse into the underwater world hidden beneath the river’s surface.
The exhibition is suitable for families and accessible for disabled visitors and has been created by Unlocking the Severn – a conservation and river engagement project.
If you have an interest in nature and wildlife, fish, or the River Severn more generally, this is an opportunity to stop and think about the wildlife under the water.
Alongside beautiful graphic panels telling the shad’s story there are two commissioned short films to watch – including a new animation about the journey the shad make up the River Severn in search of their freshwater spawning grounds. In addition, a fascinating haul of artefacts and artworks fished from the Shropshire Museums’ archives will add a unique historical perspective. These items focus on the River Severn at Shrewsbury, and how local people’s relationship with the county’s most important river has changed and developed over the years.
Alex Ball, Senior Project Manager comments: “We hope this exhibition will provide a chance to change people’s perspective, viewing this powerful river through the eyes of a small fish, swimming up from the sea, trying to get past large weirs to reach good spawning habitats. We also hope visitors will be inspired to plan a visit to the new underwater viewing window at Worcester’s Diglis fish pass when it opens later this year.”
Sarah Skelton, Curator Shropshire Museums said: “As we were selecting and choosing objects to support the Unlocking the Severn exhibition, it struck me that the artworks in our collections really reflect the changes to the river ecosystem. Through our paintings we can see how human activity has shaped and changed the river over the centuries. In the context of an important conservation project, we can also consider our place in history and what the impact of our current behaviour will be on future generations’ relationship to the River Severn and its wildlife.”
Please check the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery website for any updates about COVID measures and to book your FREE ticket to reserve your place before travelling.
Unlocking the Severn is a conservation and river engagement project led by Canal & River Trust, and partners: the Severn Rivers Trust, the Environment Agency and Natural England. It is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the European Union LIFE Nature Programme.