The UK’s only inland coastal rowing club takes to Worcestershire waters

Photo caption: Members of Zaznak Worcester on their inaugural row.


Parent’s from one of Worcestershire’s leading independent schools took to the water recently.

The team – from The River School in Worcester – is part of the UK’s only coastal rowing club for inland communities.

The club – called Zaznak Worcester – took to the waters at the University Lakeside for a try-out row; rowing a St Ayles Skiff, a fixed seat traditional rowing boat, the new team hope to see the club develop for pupils at the school and other communities across the city.

Phase one for the newly formed club of first-time rowers is to develop skills once a month in the UW Lakeside pool at Top Barn before heading to the tidal waters of a South Devon estuary in the summer. Zaznak, a voluntary club and not-for-profit company, then hopes to outreach to new communities and build more boats.

Zaznak’s first boat, named Zandenise after the Bishop of Worcester’s first wife Denise Inge who died in 2014, was built in 2016 with National Lottery money in partnership with the Good Soil Project at Top Barn Farm, and launched by the Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge. Since then the boat has been rowed by various scratch crews, including Tudor Grange school pupils and has spent the summer on loan to the Ahoy! charity in Greenwich for the Great River Race on the Thames.

Sophie Newman, Club Captain said: “We all really enjoyed rowing this fantastic boat. It’s a wonderful way to connect as a community and great fun. The University Lake is the perfect location to develop and we are all really looking forward to rowing on the coast next summer.”

Those interested in Zaznak and its activities can contact Richard Wood via the Zaznak website,

The River School, a Christian, co-educational independent day school for pupils and young people aged 2 to 16 years was opened in 1985 and is situated along the Droitwich Road in Worcester. The school occupies a large Georgian Grade II-listed building with outbuildings, set in eight acres, encompassing both woodland and open grass. The River School provides the most economical private education for senior school aged pupils within Worcestershire.