Grantham Canal (Long Clawson to Harby)

    Wildlife Highlights

    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.

    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 340


    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.

    Latest records

    Common Name Latin Name Date Recorded Recorded By
    Orange TipAnthocharis cardamines05/05/2019Steve Mathers
    Sedge WarblerAcrocephalus schoenobaenus05/05/2019Steve Mathers
    Red-and-black FroghopperCercopis vulnerata05/05/2019Steve Mathers
    ChiffchaffPhylloscopus collybita05/05/2019Steve Mathers
    CuckooflowerCardamine pratensis05/05/2019Steve Mathers
    SkylarkAlauda arvensis05/05/2019Steve Mathers
    Corizus hyoscyami05/05/2019Steve Mathers
    Marsham's Nomad BeeNomada marshamella05/05/2019Steve Mathers
    ChaffinchFringilla coelebs19/03/2019Steve Mathers
    Wood PigeonColumba palumbus19/03/2019Steve Mathers
    MoorhenGallinula chloropus19/03/2019Steve Mathers
    White Dead-nettleLamium album19/03/2019Steve Mathers
    Lords-and-LadiesArum maculatum19/03/2019Steve Mathers
    Carrion CrowCorvus corone19/03/2019Steve Mathers
    BrimstoneGonepteryx rhamni19/03/2019Steve Mathers
    Getting There

    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.

    Managed By
    Canal and River Trust (since 2012)

    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    Algae, Bacteria, VirusMossy Willow Catkin GallCauser unknown (Mossy Willow Gall)30/07/2017
    AmphibiansCommon ToadBufo bufo22/07/2016
    AmphibiansSmooth NewtLissotriton vulgaris31/10/2016
    Bees, Wasps, AntsHoney BeeApis mellifera22/05/2017
    Bees, Wasps, AntsGarden BumblebeeBombus hortorum01/09/2016
    Bees, Wasps, AntsTree BumblebeeBombus hypnorum18/04/2014
    Bees, Wasps, AntsWhite-tailed Bumble BeeBombus lucorum agg.24/04/2018
    Bees, Wasps, AntsCommon Carder BumblebeeBombus pascuorum03/10/2016
    Bees, Wasps, AntsEarly BumblebeeBombus pratorum07/06/2017
    Bees, Wasps, AntsBuff-tailed BumblebeeBombus terrestris19/03/2019
    Bees, Wasps, AntsVestal Cuckoo BumblebeeBombus vestalis24/06/2017
    Bees, Wasps, AntsSmooth Pea Gall WaspDiplolepis eglanteriae/nervosa01/09/2013
    Bees, Wasps, AntsSputnik Gall WaspDiplolepis nervosa01/09/2013
    Bees, Wasps, AntsBedeguar Gall WaspDiplolepis rosae01/09/2013
    Bees, Wasps, AntsMarsham's Nomad BeeNomada marshamella05/05/2019
    Beetles2 Spot LadybirdAdalia bipunctata04/05/2014
    BeetlesFigwort WeevilCionus scrophulariae14/07/2016
    Beetles7 Spot LadybirdCoccinella septempunctata19/03/2019
    BeetlesGreen Dock BeetleGastrophysa viridula11/07/2013
    BeetlesGrammoptera ruficornis06/06/2014
    BeetlesOphonus rufibarbis22/05/2017
    BeetlesPoecilus cupreus23/05/2017
    Beetles22 Spot LadybirdPsyllobora vigintiduopunctata03/10/2016
    BeetlesCardinal BeetlePyrochroa serraticornis04/05/2014
    BeetlesCommon Red Soldier BeetleRhagonycha fulva21/07/2015
    BirdsSparrowhawkAccipiter nisus22/01/2018
    BirdsSedge WarblerAcrocephalus schoenobaenus24/04/2018
    BirdsReed WarblerAcrocephalus scirpaceus11/05/2018
    BirdsLong-tailed TitAegithalos caudatus17/05/2016
    BirdsSkylarkAlauda arvensis01/12/2016