Conservation scientists will flock to Tewkesbury later this month to explain to locals how they hope to reverse the fortunes of fish by unjamming the River Severn.

A new project, Unlocking the Severn, wants to create “fish passes” in the Severn’s dams which have been blocking fish from making their way up stream to lay their eggs.

These dams - technically known as weirs - were originally built in the 1850’s during the heyday of the Industrial Revolution to allow larger boats to transport goods along the length of the river.

But they ended up blocking species like the twaite shad, a member of the herring family, from reaching historic spawning grounds - and their numbers shrunk.

The project’s team are holding a drop-in session between 10am and 2pm at the Severn Ham in Tewkesbury on April 21.

It coincides with World Fish Migratory Day, a global push to raise awareness of the need to protect migratory fish, the health of their rivers, and in turn the communities that depend on both.

Funding for the £19m project comes from mostly from the National Lottery and the EU. It’s being delivered by the Canal & River Trust in partnership with the Severn Rivers Trust, Environment Agency and Natural England.

Tim Thorpe of the Severn Rivers Trust will be at the workshop - he hopes the drop-in session and the project more broadly can help show river dwellers across Gloucestershire that the Severn is more than a “big muddy thing that occasionally floods and causes trouble”.