Ashby Canal, Congerstone

    Selected Wild Place / Other Wild Places / Public Rights of Way / VC55 boundary

    Getting There

    The north of this section can be accessed from Barton Lane just below Shackerstone, and in the south access is from Bosworth Road just east of Congerton.

    • Canal
    • Site of Special Scientific Interest
    Managed By
    Canal and River Trust
    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 23


    This section of the Ashby Canal skirts around the eastern edge of Congerstone.

    The Ashby Canal is 31 miles long and connects the former mining area of Moira to the Coventry Canal. It opened in 1804 and serviced the collieries but over many years the section north of Snarestone was affected by mining subsidence and was eventually closed to navigation. A restoration programme has recently led to a part reopening but work continues. As some of the original canal had been filled in and built over a new section is being constructed around Measham.

    The stretch between Carlton Bridge, north of Market Bosworth, and Turnover Bridge, north of Snarestone is a biological Site of Special Scientific Interest, designated in 1989 for its diverse aquatic flora and invertebrates, and the submerged plants in particular.

    Wildlife Highlights

    The flora of the canal was formerly rich, characterised by the occurrence in quantity on its margins of species such as Common Fleabane Pulicaria dysenterica, Purple-loosestrife Lythrum salicaria, Water Mint Mentha aquatica, Large Bitter-cress Cardamine amara and Blunt-flowered Rush Juncus subnodulosus. At least nine  Potamogeton species, including the nationally scarce Grass-wrack Pondweed P. compressus, have been recorded in the water, while there are remarkable old records of Floating Water-plantain Luronium natans and Greater Bladderwort Utricularia vulgarisOther aquatic plants include Mare's tail, Spiked Water-milfoil and Perfoliate Pondweed. Nine species of dragonfly have been recorded as have Water Shrews, Water Voles and the nationally rare water beetle Haliplus mucronatus.

    The canal follows a contour line and is lockless. As a result there are no currents and combined with the absence of boat traffic perhaps accounted for the vast quantities of free-floating aquatics such as Ivy-leaved Duckweed Lemna trisulca. Recent surveys indicate a dramatic deterioration in the quality of the canal’s aquatic flora and the restoration work to increase boat traffic give little hope of a recovery, other than in possible off-line refuges.


    The records and images below may include those from adjacent sites if the grid reference submitted with these records overlaps the boundary of this Wild Place.

    Latest records
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    Common Name Latin Name Date Recorded Recorded By
    Cauliflower Gall MiteAceria fraxinivora20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    GatekeeperPyronia tithonus20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Hawthorn Button-top GallDasineura crataegi20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Psyllopsis fraxini agg.20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Greater SpearwortRanunculus lingua20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Lesser Water-parsnipBerula erecta20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Banded DemoiselleCalopteryx splendens20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Water DockRumex hydrolapathum20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Blunt-flowered RushJuncus subnodulosus20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Amphibious BistortPersicaria amphibia20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Branched Bur-reedSparganium erectum20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Common FleabanePulicaria dysenterica20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Hop SedgeCarex pseudocyperus20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Long HoverflySphaerophoria scripta20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Purple-loosestrifeLythrum salicaria20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Shepherd's-purseCapsella bursa-pastoris20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    BittersweetSolanum dulcamara20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    White-legged DamselflyPlatycnemis pennipes20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    Oak MildewErysiphe alphitoides20/07/2021Melinda Bell
    The MagpieAbraxas grossulariata29/08/2016Peter Smith
    Branched Bur-reedSparganium erectum29/08/2016Peter Smith
    LapwingVanellus vanellus06/07/2013Orientalis
    Black-headed GullChroicocephalus ridibundus06/07/2013Orientalis
    GoldfinchCarduelis carduelis06/07/2013Orientalis

    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    BugsPsyllopsis fraxini agg.20/07/2021
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesWhite-legged DamselflyPlatycnemis pennipes20/07/2021
    WildflowersWater DockRumex hydrolapathum20/07/2021
    MothsThe MagpieAbraxas grossulariata29/08/2016
    WildflowersShepherd's-purseCapsella bursa-pastoris20/07/2021
    WildflowersPurple-loosestrifeLythrum salicaria20/07/2021
    FungiOak MildewErysiphe alphitoides20/07/2021
    HoverfliesLong HoverflySphaerophoria scripta20/07/2021
    WildflowersLesser Water-parsnipBerula erecta20/07/2021
    BirdsLapwingVanellus vanellus06/07/2013
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesHop SedgeCarex pseudocyperus20/07/2021
    Craneflies, Gnats & MidgesHawthorn Button-top GallDasineura crataegi20/07/2021
    WildflowersGreater SpearwortRanunculus lingua20/07/2021
    BirdsGoldfinchCarduelis carduelis06/07/2013
    ButterfliesGatekeeperPyronia tithonus20/07/2021
    WildflowersCommon FleabanePulicaria dysenterica20/07/2021
    Mites, Ticks & PseudoscorpionsCauliflower Gall MiteAceria fraxinivora20/07/2021
    WildflowersBranched Bur-reedSparganium erectum29/08/2016
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesBlunt-flowered RushJuncus subnodulosus20/07/2021
    BirdsBlack-headed GullChroicocephalus ridibundus06/07/2013
    WildflowersBittersweetSolanum dulcamara20/07/2021
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesBanded DemoiselleCalopteryx splendens20/07/2021
    WildflowersAmphibious BistortPersicaria amphibia20/07/2021