Families across Worcestershire are being invited to get involved in a community event to celebrate and promote a major natural heritage project.

The Wishing Fish is being delivered by the University of Worcester on behalf of the Severn Rivers Trust, as part of the Unlocking the Severn Project. It will see hundreds of children across local schools getting involved in arts, dance and storytelling activities ahead of a huge community event in Worcester City Centre on Saturday, April 21st, celebrating World Fish Migration Day.

The project is part of the Unlocking the Severn project, which will re-open the River Severn and its major tributaries for all species of fish, many of which became extinct in the upper reaches following the installation of weirs in the 1800s. Mike Morris, Deputy Director at Severn Rivers Trust, said: “We are excited to be working with the University of Worcester to bring World Fish Migration Day to the River Severn, it is important for us as a Rivers Trust and as part of the Unlocking the Severn project to spread the message of why fish migrate, and how removing barriers is important.”

The Wishing Fish is inspired by stories from many indigenous populations in which fish are celebrated as spiritual creatures, able to grant wishes.

Local artists are working with children at three Worcester primary schools – Cranham, Northwick and St Clement’s – to create artwork, dance pieces and stories, which will form part of the community event on April 21st.

At that event there will be a procession – led by a huge Wishing Fish sculpture, created by one of the professional artists – through Worcester City Centre, finishing with a family picnic  at the University’s City Campus.

During the Easter holidays families can get involved in storytelling and art projects at The Hive, which will form part of the procession on April 21st.

Anne Hannaford, Director of Arts and Culture at the University of Worcester, said: “The Wishing Fish is a wonderful project which we hope the whole community will engage in. The River Severn is such a vital part of Worcester and this project is a really exciting way of reconnecting people with the river.”

The Wishing Fish project builds on the University’s hugely successful annual Storytelling Festival for Children – known as Beeline – and aims to inspire children and families through the sharing of stories in all their many forms.


Contact Severn Rivers Trust on 01886 888394 or via email to