Allis the Shad Who Wouldnt Give Up launches on World Ocean Day

From: Natural England
Published: Thu Jun 01 2023

Written by Angela Gall from Natural England and illustrated by Sarah Gledhill, the children's book about a unique fish's journey comes out on 8 June 2023.

A fish that breeds only in the UK in the River Tamar is the star of a children's book being published by Natural England on World Ocean Day.

Allis the Shad Who Wouldn't Give Up is an illustrated rhyming story following the life journey of the rare Allis shad; from the tranquil River Tamar to the underwater wonders of Plymouth Sound and the sea beyond - and back again.

The book's author, Angela Gall, a senior marine adviser in Natural England's Devon, Cornwall, and Isles of Scilly Area Team, said:

I have worked on the Tamar Estuary for many years and have been longing to share the amazing story of the iconic Allis shad.

They are a flagship species for Plymouth and the Tamar, and I believe everyone in this area should feel a sense of pride in them and that by helping this species we can help the whole ecosystem to recover.

Allis shad were once widespread and widely eaten but these days they are threatened throughout western Europe and are now known to only breed in the Tamar.

Proceeds from sales of the book will go to the charity Westcountry Rivers Trust (WRT) to support their conservation work on the Tamar and other local rivers.

The intricate and colourful illustrations are by Sarah Gledhill, a UK-based illustrator whose artwork details local scenes and an array of wildlife for children to spot.

Josie Purcell, communications lead at WRT, said:

This book is a delightful way to celebrate these fish and help educate youngsters of the importance in taking care of freshwater habitats for all who depend on them.

Well done to Angela and Sarah for creating such a vibrant story about this incredible fish and to Natural England for donating the book sales to our charity.

Natural England will be joining WRT's Bring Rivers to You summer event on World Ocean Day on Thursday 8 June at Plymouth Hoe between 10am and 2pm to showcase the book.

To purchase a copy, visit Allis The Shad Who Wouldn't Give Up


Westcountry Rivers Trust, established in 1994, is an environmental charity with a focus on restoring and protecting the freshwater environments of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, and into Dorset. Its work is underpinned by science, evidence and experience and a commitment to the resilience of the region's rivers, streams, wetlands, and estuaries to keep them healthy for wildlife and people, both now and in the future.

Through educational activities and community engagement it inspires a love for the region's rivers, and its work with businesses, other NGOs, environmental organisations, farming and fishing sectors, water companies, local authorities and more keeps bringing rivers to life.

World Ocean Day book launch events

  • Tamar Barge - The launch will commence with a private reading, by the author, to children from local primary school Eggbuckland Vale onboard the marvellous Lynher Barge, whilst sailing on the Tamar Estuary.
  • Bringing Rivers to You - Westcountry Rivers Trust will hold an event stall on the Hoe in Plymouth as part of their Bringing Rivers to You campaign. The stall will feature free interactive activities about rivers. Book readings for local school children will be held between 12.30pm and 2pm at the west end of the Hoe near the Beatles public art installation.
  • Plymouth Central Library - Allis the Shad Who Wouldn't Give Up will be read at the library by the author 3.30pm to 4.30pm.
  • Boston Tea Party - The author will be reading and selling copies of the book from 6pm as part of a World Ocean Day event.

Company: Natural England

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