Grantham Canal (Long Clawson to Harby)


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Wildlife Highlights

The Canal comprises sections of dense reedbeds (Phragmites) whilst Bulrush, Yellow Iris and Branched Bur-reed are also widespread, together with Lesser Water Parsnip and Flowering Rush along the more open-water stretches. The Canal banks are covered in Meadowsweet and Willowherb whilst the hedges along the towpath are predominantly Hawthorn and Blackthorn. The main trees flanking the canal and towpath include Ash, Weeping and White Willow, Osier, Sycamore, Alder, Pendunculate (English) Oak. Elder and Wych Elm

Some sections are well stocked with fish, with Pike often seen.

In addition to the resident breeding waterbirds (Mute Swan, Mallard, Moorhen and Coot), in summer there are good populations of warblers, the commonest include Reed, Sedge and Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff. Swallows, House Martins and Swifts are regularly seen along the Canal in the summer months. Kestrels and Buzzards are  frequent, and Kingfisher and Grey Heron occur, but are easily flushed when disturbed. In winter our resident thrushes are augmented by large, highly mobile, flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing, and in adjacent ploughed fields flocks of Lesser Black-backed Gull and Black-headed Gull are often present.

The common species of butterflies in the East Midlands are all well represented with flight periods beyween March to October. Eighteeen species of dragonfly and damselfly have been recorded along this stretch including the Hairy Dragonfly and Variable Damselfly, both are close to the limit of their range that lies mainly in SE England. Sightings of Emerald Damselfly and Banded Demoiselle are now rare.

Click on the Species List tab at the top of the page to see a complete list of species recorded in NatureSpot.

Other Wild Places

Total species seen at this site: 313


This western part of the Grantham Canal in Leics stretches 2.5 miles from the county boundary at the River Smite aqueduct north of Long Clawson, eastwards past Hose, to Harby. The Grantham Canal was built to supply coal to Grantham and runs from the River Trent in Nottingham for 33 miles to Grantham. The Canal was opened in 1797 and closed to traffic in 1929. After several decades of public ownership the canal management passed from British Waterways to the newly formed Canal and River Trust in 2012.

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Latest Records

Common Name Latin Name Date Recorded Recorded By
Buff-tailed BumblebeeBombus terrestris20/04/2017Steve Mathers
CowslipPrimula veris20/04/2017Steve Mathers
Water HorsetailEquisetum fluviatile20/04/2017Steve Mathers
Lesser CelandineFicaria verna20/04/2017Steve Mathers
BuzzardButeo buteo20/04/2017Steve Mathers
Greylag GooseAnser anser20/04/2017Steve Mathers
Reed WarblerAcrocephalus scirpaceus20/04/2017Steve Mathers
White Dead-nettleLamium album20/04/2017Steve Mathers
Lesser Pond-sedgeCarex acutiformis20/04/2017Steve Mathers
MeadowsweetFilipendula ulmaria20/04/2017Steve Mathers
Willow WarblerPhylloscopus trochilus20/04/2017Steve Mathers
GoldfinchCarduelis carduelis20/04/2017Steve Mathers
ChiffchaffPhylloscopus collybita20/04/2017Steve Mathers
Meadow FoxtailAlopecurus pratensis20/04/2017Steve Mathers
Reed WarblerAcrocephalus scirpaceus20/04/2017Steve Mathers

Getting There

This section of the Canal is best reached by A46 or A606. The Canal can then be accessed from the minor roads in the area between Long Clawson and Harby. The towpath runs along the northern bank of the Canal and is surfaced between Hose and Harby and west of Long Clawson Bridge [SK721298]. There is a bespoke car park at Hose Bridge [SK732298] and parking on the road verge near Long Clawson Bridge, alternatively park in Harby.

Managed By

Canal and River Trust (since 2012)

Latest Images

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Species List

Group Common Name Latin Name Last Seen
Algae, Bacteria, VirusMossy Willow Catkin GallCauser unknown (Mossy Willow Gall)31/10/2016
AmphibiansCommon ToadBufo bufo22/07/2016
AmphibiansSmooth NewtLissotriton vulgaris31/10/2016
Bees, Wasps, AntsHoney BeeApis mellifera04/05/2014
Bees, Wasps, AntsGarden BumblebeeBombus hortorum01/09/2016
Bees, Wasps, AntsTree BumblebeeBombus hypnorum08/08/2016
Bees, Wasps, AntsCommon Carder BumblebeeBombus pascuorum03/10/2016
Bees, Wasps, AntsBuff-tailed BumblebeeBombus terrestris20/04/2017
Bees, Wasps, AntsSmooth Pea Gall WaspDiplolepis eglanteriae/nervosa01/09/2013
Bees, Wasps, AntsSputnik Gall WaspDiplolepis nervosa01/09/2013
Bees, Wasps, AntsBedeguar Gall WaspDiplolepis rosae03/10/2016
Beetles2 Spot LadybirdAdalia bipunctata25/05/2011
BeetlesFigwort WeevilCionus scrophulariae26/06/2016
Beetles7 Spot LadybirdCoccinella septempunctata11/07/2013
BeetlesGreen Dock BeetleGastrophysa viridula11/07/2013
BeetlesGrammoptera ruficornis06/06/2014
BeetlesStrawberry Seed BeetleHarpalus rufipes21/05/2015
Beetles22 Spot LadybirdPsyllobora vigintiduopunctata03/10/2016
BeetlesCardinal BeetlePyrochroa serraticornis04/05/2014
BeetlesCommon Red Soldier BeetleRhagonycha fulva21/07/2015
BirdsSparrowhawkAccipiter nisus18/04/2017
BirdsSedge WarblerAcrocephalus schoenobaenus02/08/2016
BirdsReed WarblerAcrocephalus scirpaceus07/06/2016
BirdsLong-tailed TitAegithalos caudatus07/03/2017
BirdsSkylarkAlauda arvensis01/12/2016
BirdsKingfisherAlcedo atthis05/10/2008
BirdsRed-legged PartridgeAlectoris rufa18/04/2014
BirdsWigeonAnas penelope04/11/2012
BirdsMallardAnas platyrhynchos31/12/2014
BirdsGadwallAnas strepera10/01/2015

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