Grantham Canal (Long Clawson to Harby)
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.
Total species seen at this site: 345
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.
|Common Name||Latin Name||Date Recorded||Recorded By|
|Red Admiral||Vanessa atalanta||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Ruddy Darter||Sympetrum sanguineum||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Green-veined White||Pieris napi||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Black-tailed Skimmer||Orthetrum cancellatum||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Gatekeeper||Pyronia tithonus||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Comma||Polygonia c-album||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Banded Demoiselle||Calopteryx splendens||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Blue-tailed Damselfly||Ischnura elegans||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Common Darter||Sympetrum striolatum||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Southern Hawker||Aeshna cyanea||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Speckled Wood||Pararge aegeria||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Mossy Willow Catkin Gall||Causer unknown (Mossy Willow Gall)||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Willow Redgall Sawfly||Pontania proxima||30/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
|Hop Sedge||Carex pseudocyperus||18/07/2017||Alan Semper|
|Azure Damselfly||Coenagrion puella||09/07/2017||Steve Mathers|
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.