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: 57


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
OtterLutra lutra17/09/2021Melinda Bell
Bedeguar Gall WaspDiplolepis rosae17/09/2021Melinda Bell
CommaPolygonia c-album17/09/2021Melinda Bell
Iris Leaf-minerCerodontha iraeos17/09/2021Melinda Bell
Amber SnailSuccinea putris17/09/2021Melinda Bell
Greater Tussock-sedgeCarex paniculata06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Common RagwortJacobaea vulgaris06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Eriophyes similis06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Creeping-JennyLysimachia nummularia06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Sycamore TarspotRhytisma acerinum06/09/2021Melinda Bell
MallardAnas platyrhynchos06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Eriothrix rufomaculata06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Greater Burnet-saxifragePimpinella major06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Lesser BurdockArctium minus06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Cauliflower Gall MiteAceria fraxinivora06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Greater Tussock-sedgeCarex paniculata06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Common FleabanePulicaria dysenterica06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Perennial Sow-thistleSonchus arvensis06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Black HorehoundBallota nigra06/09/2021Melinda Bell
Common MallowMalva sylvestris06/09/2021Melinda Bell
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

Group Common name Latin name Last seen
Bees, Wasps, AntsBedeguar Gall WaspDiplolepis rosae17/09/2021
BeetlesDonacia semicuprea26/05/2020
BirdsMallardAnas platyrhynchos06/09/2021
BirdsWaxwingBombycilla garrulus22/12/2011
BugsPsyllopsis fraxini agg.26/05/2020
ButterfliesOrange TipAnthocharis cardamines24/04/2021
ButterfliesSmall CopperLycaena phlaeas01/06/2014
ButterfliesCommaPolygonia c-album17/09/2021
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
FliesIris Leaf-minerCerodontha iraeos17/09/2021
FliesEriothrix rufomaculata06/09/2021
FungiSycamore TarspotRhytisma acerinum06/09/2021
Grasses, Rushes & SedgesFalse Fox-sedgeCarex otrubae23/06/2021
Grasses, Rushes & SedgesGreater Tussock-sedgeCarex paniculata12/08/2020
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 amphibius24/04/2021
MammalsOtterLutra lutra17/09/2021
MammalsMinkNeovison vison31/01/2005
MammalsBrown RatRattus norvegicus01/05/2020
Mites, Ticks & PseudoscorpionsCauliflower Gall MiteAceria fraxinivora06/09/2021
Mites, Ticks & PseudoscorpionsEriophyes similis06/09/2021
Mites, Ticks & PseudoscorpionsPhyllocoptes goniothorax26/05/2020
MothsNettle-tapAnthophila fabriciana26/05/2020
Slugs & SnailsAmber SnailSuccinea putris17/09/2021
Slugs & SnailsRiver SnailViviparus viviparus24/04/2021
Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersTraveller's-joyClematis vitalba06/05/2020
Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersBlackthornPrunus spinosa12/08/2020
Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersChinese BrambleRubus tricolor26/05/2020
WildflowersLesser BurdockArctium minus06/09/2021
WildflowersBlack HorehoundBallota nigra06/09/2021
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 capensis08/09/2013
WildflowersYellow IrisIris pseudacorus26/05/2020
WildflowersCommon RagwortJacobaea vulgaris06/09/2021
WildflowersGypsywortLycopus europaeus08/09/2013
WildflowersCreeping-JennyLysimachia nummularia06/09/2021
WildflowersCommon MallowMalva sylvestris06/09/2021
WildflowersHemlock Water-dropwortOenanthe crocata26/05/2020
WildflowersGreater Burnet-saxifragePimpinella major06/09/2021
WildflowersCommon FleabanePulicaria dysenterica06/09/2021
WildflowersGreat Yellow-cressRorippa amphibia26/05/2020
WildflowersWater DockRumex hydrolapathum24/04/2021
WildflowersSkullcapScutellaria galericulata08/09/2013
WildflowersPerennial Sow-thistleSonchus arvensis06/09/2021