Ashby Canal, Shackerstone
Selected Wild Place / Other Wild Places / Public Rights of Way / VC55 boundary
Accessed from Congerstone Lane in the north of the village or from Barton Lane just south of Shackerstone.
- Site of Special Scientific Interest
Total species seen at this site: 38
This section runs through the village of Shackerstone.
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.
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 vulgaris. Other 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.
Image use - WhaleyTim at English Wikipedia
|Common Name||Latin Name||Date Recorded||Recorded By|
|Rusty-back Fern||Ceterach officinarum||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Water Figwort||Scrophularia auriculata||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Wall-rue||Asplenium ruta-muraria||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Bulrush||Typha latifolia||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Blunt-flowered Rush||Juncus subnodulosus||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Branched Bur-reed||Sparganium erectum||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Yellow Water-lily||Nuphar lutea||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Banded Demoiselle||Calopteryx splendens||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Common Fleabane||Pulicaria dysenterica||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Dasineura urticae||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|False Fox-sedge||Carex otrubae||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Great Willowherb||Epilobium hirsutum||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Greater Tussock-sedge||Carex paniculata||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Heterotoma planicornis||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|
|Honeysuckle||Lonicera periclymenum||11/07/2020||Melinda Bell|