Ashby Canal, Dadlington to Sutton Wharf

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

    Getting There

    At the northern end access is from Sutton Cheney Wharf (Wharf/Fenn Lanes) and in the south access is via Shenton Lane just north of Dadlington.

    • Canal
    Managed By
    Canal and River Trust
    Further Information
    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 41


    This section of the Ashby Canal runs south from Sutton Wharf towards Dadlington.

    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
    Greater Tussock-sedgeCarex paniculata23/06/2021David Nicholls
    Tiger CraneflyNephrotoma flavescens23/06/2021David Nicholls
    False Fox-sedgeCarex otrubae23/06/2021David Nicholls
    Pellucid FlyVolucella pellucens23/06/2021David Nicholls
    Rosebay WillowherbChamerion angustifolium23/06/2021David Nicholls
    Water VoleArvicola amphibius24/04/2021David Nicholls
    Water DockRumex hydrolapathum24/04/2021David Nicholls
    River SnailViviparus viviparus24/04/2021David Nicholls
    Orange TipAnthocharis cardamines24/04/2021David Nicholls
    Bee FlyBombylius major24/04/2021David Nicholls
    Hybrid BluebellHyacinthoides x massartiana24/04/2021David Nicholls
    Water VoleArvicola amphibius01/03/2021Orientalis
    Water VoleArvicola amphibius27/02/2021Orientalis
    Water VoleArvicola amphibius27/02/2021Orientalis
    White-legged DamselflyPlatycnemis pennipes12/08/2020Melinda Bell
    Eristalis nemorum12/08/2020Melinda Bell
    Hawthorn Button-top GallDasineura crataegi12/08/2020Melinda Bell
    Common FleabanePulicaria dysenterica12/08/2020Melinda Bell
    Maidenhair SpleenwortAsplenium trichomanes12/08/2020Melinda Bell
    BlackthornPrunus spinosa12/08/2020Melinda Bell
    Orange BalsamImpatiens capensis12/08/2020Melinda Bell
    Thick-legged HoverflySyritta pipiens12/08/2020Melinda Bell
    Chinese BrambleRubus tricolor12/08/2020Melinda Bell
    False Fox-sedgeCarex otrubae12/08/2020Melinda Bell
    Greater Tussock-sedgeCarex paniculata12/08/2020Melinda Bell
    Agromyza filipendulae26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Nettle-tapAnthophila fabriciana26/05/2020Graham Calow
    BulrushTypha latifolia26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Great Yellow-cressRorippa amphibia26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Square-stalked St John's-wortHypericum tetrapterum26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Yellow IrisIris pseudacorus26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Greater Tussock-sedgeCarex paniculata26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Hemlock Water-dropwortOenanthe crocata26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Chinese BrambleRubus tricolor26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Hop SedgeCarex pseudocyperus26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Tall FescueSchedonorus arundinaceus26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Psyllopsis fraxini agg.26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Phyllocoptes goniothorax26/05/2020Graham Calow
    False Fox-sedgeCarex otrubae26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Donacia semicuprea26/05/2020Graham Calow
    Traveller's-joyClematis vitalba06/05/2020Graham Calow
    OtterLutra lutra01/05/2020Orientalis
    Brown RatRattus norvegicus01/05/2020Orientalis
    Brown RatRattus norvegicus01/05/2020Orientalis
    Water VoleArvicola amphibius10/04/2017Orientalis
    Water VoleArvicola amphibius28/05/2016Orientalis
    Small CopperLycaena phlaeas01/06/2014andrew johnson
    Orange BalsamImpatiens capensis08/09/2013Peter Smith
    MeadowsweetFilipendula ulmaria08/09/2013Peter Smith
    Water DockRumex hydrolapathum08/09/2013Peter Smith

    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    BeetlesDonacia semicuprea26/05/2020
    BirdsWaxwingBombycilla garrulus22/12/2011
    BugsPsyllopsis fraxini agg.26/05/2020
    ButterfliesOrange TipAnthocharis cardamines24/04/2021
    ButterfliesSmall CopperLycaena phlaeas01/06/2014
    Craneflies, Gnats & MidgesHawthorn Button-top GallDasineura crataegi12/08/2020
    Craneflies, Gnats & MidgesTiger CraneflyNephrotoma flavescens23/06/2021
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesWhite-legged DamselflyPlatycnemis pennipes12/08/2020
    Ferns & HorsetailsMaidenhair SpleenwortAsplenium trichomanes12/08/2020
    FliesAgromyza filipendulae26/05/2020
    FliesBee FlyBombylius major24/04/2021
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesFalse Fox-sedgeCarex otrubae12/08/2020
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesGreater Tussock-sedgeCarex paniculata23/06/2021
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesHop SedgeCarex pseudocyperus26/05/2020
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesTall FescueSchedonorus arundinaceus26/05/2020
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesBulrushTypha latifolia26/05/2020
    HoverfliesEristalis nemorum12/08/2020
    HoverfliesThick-legged HoverflySyritta pipiens12/08/2020
    HoverfliesPellucid FlyVolucella pellucens23/06/2021
    MammalsWater VoleArvicola amphibius01/03/2021
    MammalsOtterLutra lutra01/05/2020
    MammalsMinkNeovison vison31/01/2005
    MammalsBrown RatRattus norvegicus01/05/2020
    Mites, Ticks & PseudoscorpionsPhyllocoptes goniothorax26/05/2020
    MothsNettle-tapAnthophila fabriciana26/05/2020
    Slugs & SnailsRiver SnailViviparus viviparus24/04/2021
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersTraveller's-joyClematis vitalba06/05/2020
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersBlackthornPrunus spinosa12/08/2020
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersChinese BrambleRubus tricolor12/08/2020
    WildflowersRosebay WillowherbChamerion angustifolium23/06/2021
    WildflowersMeadowsweetFilipendula ulmaria08/09/2013
    WildflowersHybrid BluebellHyacinthoides x massartiana24/04/2021
    WildflowersSquare-stalked St John's-wortHypericum tetrapterum26/05/2020
    WildflowersOrange BalsamImpatiens capensis12/08/2020
    WildflowersYellow IrisIris pseudacorus26/05/2020
    WildflowersGypsywortLycopus europaeus08/09/2013
    WildflowersHemlock Water-dropwortOenanthe crocata26/05/2020
    WildflowersCommon FleabanePulicaria dysenterica12/08/2020
    WildflowersGreat Yellow-cressRorippa amphibia26/05/2020
    WildflowersWater DockRumex hydrolapathum24/04/2021
    WildflowersSkullcapScutellaria galericulata08/09/2013