Grantham Canal (Long Clawson to Harby)
- Selected Wild Place = PINK
- Other Wild Places = RED
- Public Rights of Way = GREEN
- VC55 boundary = BLUE
This section of the Canal is best reached by A46 or A606. The Canal can then be accessed from the minor roads in the area between Long Clawson and Harby. The towpath runs along the northern bank of the Canal and is surfaced between Hose and Harby and west of Long Clawson Bridge [SK721298]. There is a bespoke car park at Hose Bridge [SK732298] and parking on the road verge near Long Clawson Bridge, alternatively park in Harby.
Total species seen at this site: 576
This western part of the Grantham Canal in Leics stretches 2.5 miles from the county boundary at the River Smite aqueduct north of Long Clawson, eastwards past Hose, to Harby. The Grantham Canal was built to supply coal to Grantham and runs from the River Trent in Nottingham for 33 miles to Grantham. The Canal was opened in 1797 and closed to traffic in 1929. After several decades of public ownership the canal management passed from British Waterways to the newly formed Canal and River Trust in 2012.
The Canal comprises sections of dense reedbeds (Phragmites) whilst Bulrush, Yellow Iris and Branched Bur-reed are also widespread, together with Lesser Water Parsnip and Flowering Rush along the more open-water stretches. The Canal banks are covered in Meadowsweet and Willowherb whilst the hedges along the towpath are predominantly Hawthorn and Blackthorn. The main trees flanking the canal and towpath include Ash, Weeping and White Willow, Osier, Sycamore, Alder, Pendunculate (English) Oak. Elder and Wych Elm
Some sections are well stocked with fish, with Pike often seen.
In addition to the resident breeding waterbirds (Mute Swan, Mallard, Moorhen and Coot), in summer there are good populations of warblers, the commonest include Reed, Sedge and Willow Warbler, Blackcap, Whitethroat and Chiffchaff. Swallows, House Martins and Swifts are regularly seen along the Canal in the summer months. Kestrels and Buzzards are frequent, and Kingfisher and Grey Heron occur, but are easily flushed when disturbed. In winter our resident thrushes are augmented by large, highly mobile, flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing, and in adjacent ploughed fields flocks of Lesser Black-backed Gull and Black-headed Gull are often present.
The common species of butterflies in the East Midlands are all well represented with flight periods beyween March to October. Eighteeen species of dragonfly and damselfly have been recorded along this stretch including the Hairy Dragonfly and Variable Damselfly, both are close to the limit of their range that lies mainly in SE England. Sightings of Emerald Damselfly and Banded Demoiselle are now rare.
Click on the Species List tab at the top of the page to see a complete list of species recorded in NatureSpot.
|Common Name||Latin Name||Date Recorded||Recorded By|
|Azure Damselfly||Coenagrion puella||24/05/2020||Pete Leonard|
|Variable Damselfly||Coenagrion pulchellum||24/05/2020||Pete Leonard|
|Large Red Damselfly||Pyrrhosoma nymphula||24/05/2020||Pete Leonard|
|Broad-leaved Dock||Rumex obtusifolius||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|
|Chiffchaff||Phylloscopus collybita||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|
|Prickly Sow-thistle||Sonchus asper||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|
|Cow Parsley||Anthriscus sylvestris||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|
|Hogweed||Heracleum sphondylium||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|
|Moorhen||Gallinula chloropus||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|
|Mallard||Anas platyrhynchos||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|
|White Dead-nettle||Lamium album||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|
|Spear Thistle||Cirsium vulgare||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|
|Wood Avens||Geum urbanum||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|
|Pheasant||Phasianus colchicus||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|
|Meadowsweet||Filipendula ulmaria||15/05/2020||Steve Mathers|