Canal & River Trust

Unlocking the Severn

Unlocking the Severn is a huge conservation project to open up Britain's longest river, for both the rare fish that depend on it and the communities who live alongside it.

For nearly 200 years, the Victorian weirs along the River Severn have prevented fish from travelling down the river to their natural spawning territory, resulting in the Twaite Shad, once one of Britain's most common fish, becoming one of the rarest. Thanks to the installation of fish passes, this is all set to change, with 158 miles of river habitat restored.

The Canal & River Trust wanted to engage local communities in the work they were doing and asked Fuzzy Duck to help get their message across. We initially produced an intro film and a travelling animation for an exhibition, working with interpretation and design specialists, the Creative Core. We then created an immersive film experience, situated in the underwater viewing gallery, with animations of the river bed projected onto screens, which lift to reveal the actual river bed today.

Through a combination of projection, sound design and UV lighting, we wanted to create a truly immersive experience, placing the visitors in the river themselves.

Despite working through the pandemic, our team were able to install and have the immersive experience up and running in time to welcome their first visitor, HRH Princess Royal, in 2021.

“It has been great working with Matt and everyone at Fuzzy Duck on this project. Seeing it develop from a storyboard to being projected onto the walls of the viewing gallery at Diglis fish pass as part of an immersive experience has been exciting. The animation helps visitors understand the aims of the Unlocking the Severn project, which is providing fish passage at six barriers on the River Severn and its River Teme tributary.”

Mark Miles, Canal & Rivers Trust


Design & Animation Studio

Matt Geeling
Andy Horan