Ashby Canal, Snarestone N to canal end

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

    Getting There

    This section can be accessed from Snarestone.

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

    Total species seen at this site: 47


    This section runs from the end of the Snarestone tunnel to the current end of the canal.

    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.

    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    Beetles7 Spot LadybirdCoccinella septempunctata01/07/2020
    Beetles22 Spot LadybirdPsyllobora vigintiduopunctata01/07/2020
    BirdsYellowhammerEmberiza citrinella01/07/2020
    ButterfliesMeadow BrownManiola jurtina01/07/2020
    Ferns & HorsetailsSoft Shield FernPolystichum setiferum01/07/2020
    FliesBee FlyBombylius major05/04/2018
    FliesNoon FlyMesembrina meridiana01/07/2020
    FungiErysiphe heraclei01/07/2020
    FungiPodosphaera spiraeae01/07/2020
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesFalse Fox-sedgeCarex otrubae01/07/2020
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesHop SedgeCarex pseudocyperus01/07/2020
    Grasses, Rushes & SedgesBulrushTypha latifolia01/07/2020
    HoverfliesMarmalade HoverflyEpisyrphus balteatus01/07/2020
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersIvyHedera helix01/07/2020
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersHoneysuckleLonicera periclymenum01/07/2020
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersBramble agg.Rubus fruticosus agg.01/07/2020
    WildflowersYarrowAchillea millefolium01/07/2020
    WildflowersLesser BurdockArctium minus01/07/2020
    WildflowersMugwortArtemisia vulgaris01/07/2020
    WildflowersLarge BindweedCalystegia silvatica01/07/2020
    WildflowersRosebay WillowherbChamerion angustifolium01/07/2020
    WildflowersGreater CelandineChelidonium majus01/07/2020
    WildflowersMonkeyflowerErythranthe guttata01/07/2020
    WildflowersMeadowsweetFilipendula ulmaria01/07/2020
    WildflowersCleaversGalium aparine01/07/2020
    WildflowersDove's-foot Crane's-billGeranium molle01/07/2020
    WildflowersHerb-RobertGeranium robertianum01/07/2020
    WildflowersHogweedHeracleum sphondylium01/07/2020
    WildflowersOrange BalsamImpatiens capensis01/07/2020
    WildflowersYellow IrisIris pseudacorus01/07/2020
    WildflowersCommon Bird's-foot-trefoilLotus corniculatus01/07/2020
    WildflowersMusk-mallowMalva moschata01/07/2020
    WildflowersCommon MallowMalva sylvestris01/07/2020
    WildflowersBlack MedickMedicago lupulina01/07/2020
    WildflowersRibbed MelilotMelilotus officinalis01/07/2020
    WildflowersWater MintMentha aquatica01/07/2020
    WildflowersYellow Water-lilyNuphar lutea01/07/2020
    WildflowersFox-and-cubsPilosella aurantiaca01/07/2020
    WildflowersSalad BurnetPoterium sanguisorba01/07/2020
    WildflowersSelfhealPrunella vulgaris01/07/2020
    WildflowersRed CampionSilene dioica01/07/2020
    WildflowersHedge MustardSisymbrium officinale01/07/2020
    WildflowersBranched Bur-reedSparganium erectum01/07/2020
    WildflowersHedge WoundwortStachys sylvatica01/07/2020
    WildflowersCommon NettleUrtica dioica01/07/2020
    WildflowersGermander SpeedwellVeronica chamaedrys01/07/2020
    WildflowersTufted VetchVicia cracca01/07/2020