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Chance to take part in run to celebrate life of the Exe Salmon

Published: 18 August 2022

Chance to take part in run to celebrate life of the Exe Salmon Salmon Run

People can take part in a community relay to highlight the epic journey of the Atlantic Salmon and explore what it can teach us about our city, the health of our river and climate change.

Salmon Run is a community celebration of this remarkable but endangered species, its journey and its ecological and cultural significance for our city and river.

On Sunday 25 September a relay of runners will head 50 miles upriver from Exmouth to Exmoor, running through Exeter to the wooded valleys of Exmoor, connecting to the story of Atlantic Salmon in our river and estuary.

The runners will pass a symbolic hand-crafted salmon icon from hand to hand as they follow its journey from sea to spawning grounds right through the city.

Runners will swell in numbers in Exeter’s Riverside Valley Park, with two shorter legs of the relay of 3km and 1.5km open to people of all ages and abilities.

Salmon guides will be on hand to share information and stories about these remarkable and seriously at-risk creatures. The salmon’s story will be animated using a blend of art, design, science and performance - and running.

It is a pilot project of the Creative Arc, a unique collaboration between the University of Exeter, Exeter City Council and The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) to explore how the museum and its collections can help shape a better city.

Cllr Laura Wright, the Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Councillor for Culture, said: “This is a great community event which will use physical activity, education, performance and art to highlight the incredible journey of the salmon in the River Exe.

“Their decline in numbers due to human activity serves as a warning about the wider threat to the planet that we now face, and as we learn more about this amazing species we can learn more about ourselves and the consequences of our actions.

“The Creative Arc is a fantastic collaboration and I very much welcome this exciting new project.”

Atlantic Salmon are a keystone species and an indicator of the health of our environment. Europe’s migratory fish stocks have declined by 93% since 1970.* The story of the salmon tells us about climate change, changing water temperatures in seas and rivers, water flow and water quality, and barriers to movement in the river, in particular the weirs.

In the past thousands of salmon completed the epic journey along the Exe. The original word for the Exe meant “river of fish”.

Now it is suspected that numbers of returning fish are in the hundreds, and there is a ten year ban on netting salmon in the Exe. Weirs, the changing climate, loss of species diversity and pollution all have their impact on these iconic fish.

Salmon Run has been created by Tidelines, a community-led organisation engaging people through arts, science and citizen-led research in the changing Exe estuary and coast at a time of environmental and climate emergency.

It aims to create inspiring ways for people to come together in collaboration to care for, restore, adapt and respond to a rapidly changing planet.

Tidelines have been working with RAMM curators Tom Cadbury and Holly Morgenroth to learn more about Atlantic Salmon and their cultural significance in Exeter, as well as researchers at University of Exeter and other experts, including anglers, to learn about the specifics of Exe salmon, the challenges they face and what we can be done to welcome the salmon back.

Jo Salter from Tidelines, said: “We are so excited about the Salmon Run project. There will be people on hand to share their knowledge, passion and concern for the salmon, which are a keystone species, and an accompanying ‘Salmon Run’ podcast and imagery and performance.

“These fish occupy a critical and important place in our river’s ecosystem, culture and history, and can tell us much about the health of the environment. We’re inviting people to be part of this as a runner, a steward or to cheer on the running salmon!”

Tidelines is working with Wild Running, specialists in adventurous outdoor events, to deliver Salmon Run.

The run starts in Exmouth at 8.30am, passing through Exeter between 10am and midday.

Registration is open from 18 August to take part as a runner over a short distance in Exeter, or longer distances over the rest of the route. People are welcome to take part as stewards.

To register for Salmon Run as a runner or event volunteer, and more information about the day visit


More about Salmon Run:

Everyone is welcome to come along and support family members and wave the salmon on – and suitable salmon attire is welcome.

More info, interviews and images:  Anne-Marie 07849073394 or Jo 07890244012

Salmon Run Sponsors

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