Ashby Canal, Shackerstone

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

Getting There

Accessed from Congerstone Lane in the north of the village or from Barton Lane just south of Shackerstone.

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

Total species seen at this site: 43


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.

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
YarrowAchillea millefolium20/07/2021Melinda Bell
Lesser Water-parsnipBerula erecta20/07/2021Melinda Bell
Branched Bur-reedSparganium erectum20/07/2021Melinda Bell
MallardAnas platyrhynchos20/07/2021Melinda Bell
Red-tailed BumblebeeBombus lapidarius20/07/2021Melinda Bell
Tufted VetchVicia cracca20/07/2021Melinda Bell
Banded DemoiselleCalopteryx splendens20/07/2021Melinda Bell
Cucumber Green Orb SpiderAraniella cucurbitina sensu lato20/07/2021Melinda Bell
MeadowsweetFilipendula ulmaria20/07/2021Melinda Bell
Rusty-back FernCeterach officinarum11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Water FigwortScrophularia auriculata11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Wall-rueAsplenium ruta-muraria11/07/2020Melinda Bell
BulrushTypha latifolia11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Blunt-flowered RushJuncus subnodulosus11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Branched Bur-reedSparganium erectum11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Yellow Water-lilyNuphar lutea11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Banded DemoiselleCalopteryx splendens11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Common FleabanePulicaria dysenterica11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Dasineura urticae11/07/2020Melinda Bell
False Fox-sedgeCarex otrubae11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Great WillowherbEpilobium hirsutum11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Greater Tussock-sedgeCarex paniculata11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Heterotoma planicornis11/07/2020Melinda Bell
HoneysuckleLonicera periclymenum11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Amber SnailSuccinea putris11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Spear ThistleCirsium vulgare11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Tufted VetchVicia cracca11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Hop SedgeCarex pseudocyperus11/07/2020Melinda Bell
MeadowsweetFilipendula ulmaria11/07/2020Melinda Bell
White Dead-nettleLamium album11/07/2020Melinda Bell
GypsywortLycopus europaeus11/07/2020Melinda Bell
SilverweedPotentilla anserina11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Purple-loosestrifeLythrum salicaria11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Silver YAutographa gamma11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Lesser Water-parsnipBerula erecta11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Common Club-rushSchoenoplectus lacustris11/07/2020Melinda Bell
Black HorehoundBallota nigra27/06/2020Melinda Bell
ButterburPetasites hybridus27/06/2020Melinda Bell
Orange BalsamImpatiens capensis27/06/2020Melinda Bell
Acidia cognata19/10/2019sue
Phytomyza tussilaginis19/10/2019sue
Bent-barred PigmyEctoedemia angulifasciella19/10/2019sue
Dasineura ulmaria13/08/2018sue
Knopper Oak Gall WaspAndricus quercuscalicis13/08/2018sue
Horse-chestnut Leaf MinerCameraria ohridella16/09/2015Adrian Russell
LapwingVanellus vanellus06/07/2013Orientalis
Black-headed GullChroicocephalus ridibundus06/07/2013Orientalis
ButterburPetasites hybridus25/03/2007

Group Common name Latin name Last seen
Bees, Wasps, AntsKnopper Oak Gall WaspAndricus quercuscalicis13/08/2018
Bees, Wasps, AntsRed-tailed BumblebeeBombus lapidarius20/07/2021
BirdsMallardAnas platyrhynchos20/07/2021
BirdsBlack-headed GullChroicocephalus ridibundus06/07/2013
BirdsLapwingVanellus vanellus06/07/2013
BugsHeterotoma planicornis11/07/2020
Craneflies, Gnats & MidgesDasineura ulmaria13/08/2018
Craneflies, Gnats & MidgesDasineura urticae11/07/2020
Dragonflies and DamselfliesBanded DemoiselleCalopteryx splendens11/07/2020
Ferns & HorsetailsWall-rueAsplenium ruta-muraria11/07/2020
Ferns & HorsetailsRusty-back FernCeterach officinarum11/07/2020
FliesAcidia cognata19/10/2019
FliesPhytomyza tussilaginis19/10/2019
Grasses, Rushes & SedgesFalse Fox-sedgeCarex otrubae11/07/2020
Grasses, Rushes & SedgesGreater Tussock-sedgeCarex paniculata11/07/2020
Grasses, Rushes & SedgesHop SedgeCarex pseudocyperus11/07/2020
Grasses, Rushes & SedgesBlunt-flowered RushJuncus subnodulosus11/07/2020
Grasses, Rushes & SedgesCommon Club-rushSchoenoplectus lacustris11/07/2020
Grasses, Rushes & SedgesBulrushTypha latifolia11/07/2020
MothsSilver YAutographa gamma11/07/2020
MothsHorse-chestnut Leaf MinerCameraria ohridella16/09/2015
MothsBent-barred PigmyEctoedemia angulifasciella19/10/2019
Slugs & SnailsAmber SnailSuccinea putris11/07/2020
SpidersCucumber Green Orb SpiderAraniella cucurbitina sensu lato20/07/2021
Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersHoneysuckleLonicera periclymenum11/07/2020
WildflowersYarrowAchillea millefolium20/07/2021
WildflowersBlack HorehoundBallota nigra27/06/2020
WildflowersLesser Water-parsnipBerula erecta11/07/2020
WildflowersSpear ThistleCirsium vulgare11/07/2020
WildflowersGreat WillowherbEpilobium hirsutum11/07/2020
WildflowersMeadowsweetFilipendula ulmaria20/07/2021
WildflowersOrange BalsamImpatiens capensis27/06/2020
WildflowersWhite Dead-nettleLamium album11/07/2020
WildflowersGypsywortLycopus europaeus11/07/2020
WildflowersPurple-loosestrifeLythrum salicaria11/07/2020
WildflowersYellow Water-lilyNuphar lutea11/07/2020
WildflowersButterburPetasites hybridus27/06/2020
WildflowersSilverweedPotentilla anserina11/07/2020
WildflowersCommon FleabanePulicaria dysenterica11/07/2020
WildflowersWater FigwortScrophularia auriculata11/07/2020
WildflowersBranched Bur-reedSparganium erectum20/07/2021
WildflowersTufted VetchVicia cracca20/07/2021