Grantham Canal (Redmile to Muston)

    Getting There

    This section of the Canal is best reached by A46-A52, or the A606. The Canal can then be accessed from the minor roads in the area around Redmile and Muston. The towpath runs along the northern bank and is surfaced around Muston. There is  parking at Muston Bridge [SK833368], just within Lincs, on the verge at Easthorpe Bridge [SK811368], and in Redmile.

    Managed By
    Canal and River Trust (since 2012)
    Wild places

    Total species seen at this site: 304


    Forming the eastern section of the Grantham Canal in Leics this site stretches nearly 4 miles from Redmile eastwards to the county boundary south of Muston. The Canal was built to supply coal to Grantham and runs from the River Trent in Nottingham for 33 miles to Grantham. It opened in 1797 and closed to traffic in 1929. After several decades of public ownership the management of the Canal passed from British Waterways to the newly formed Canal and River Trust in 2012. The scenery of this section is dominated by views of the forested ridge to the south running from Stathern eastwards to Belvoir Castle.

    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 in the more open-water stretches. The banks are covered in Meadowsweet and Willowherb whilst the hedges along the towpath are predominantly of Hawthorn and Blackthorn. The main trees flanking the Canal and towpath include Ash, Weeping, White and Grey Willow, Sycamore, Alder, Pendunculate (English) Oak and Elder.

    Some sections are well stocked with fish and the stretch near Muston the canal is fished by the Bottesford and District AA. Pike are often seen. Amongst the aquatic mollusca, Swan Mussel occurs around Muston, and Great Pond Snails are found throughout.

    In addition to the resident breeding waterbirds (Mute Swan, Canada Goose, 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, Buzzards and Red Kites are common, Kingfisher and Grey Heron also visit the Canal but are easily flushed when disturbed. In winter months our resident thrushes are augmented by large highly mobile flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing and the adjacent ploughed fields often hold flocks of Lesser Black-backed Gull and Black-headed Gull.

    The common species of butterflies in the East Midlands are all well represented along the Canal with flight periods usually ranging between March and October. Between April to November 19 species of dragonfly and damselfly have been recorded along this section including the Hairy Dragonfly and Variable Damselfly, both close to the limit of their range that lies mainly in SE England. The latest addition is the Small Red-eyed Damselfly, rapidly expanding its range northwards and now recorded along this stretch, after records in recent years from the adjacent part of the Canal around Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire.

    The Species List tab at the top of the page gives a complete listing of species recorded in NatureSpot for this stretch of the Canal

    Latest News

    In recent years the fields along the northern side of the Canal east of Longore Bridge (no.58) [SK825365] have formed part of the Muston Meadows National Nature Reserve famed for its orchids and wildflowers. As of July 2016 Natural England has declassified much of this reserve leaving just two fields, not bordering the canal, under their on-going management.


    Group Common name Latin name Last seen
    Beetles14 Spot ladybirdPropylea quattuordecimpunctata09/09/2016
    Beetles22 Spot LadybirdPsyllobora vigintiduopunctata13/08/2017
    Beetles7 Spot LadybirdCoccinella septempunctata01/06/2011
    WildflowersAmphibious BistortPersicaria amphibia07/08/2016
    WildflowersArrowheadSagittaria sagittifolia17/07/2016
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersAshFraxinus excelsior28/07/2016
    MothsAsh-bark Knot-hornEuzophera pinguis15/08/2015
    WildflowersAutumn HawkbitScorzoneroides autumnalis28/08/2016
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesAzure DamselflyCoenagrion puella01/06/2011
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesBanded DemoiselleCalopteryx splendens07/08/2016
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersBarberryBerberis vulgaris02/11/2016
    Bees, Wasps, AntsBedeguar Gall WaspDiplolepis rosae09/09/2016
    Flies, Gnats and MidgesBee FlyBombylius major23/04/2017
    WildflowersBittersweetSolanum dulcamara13/08/2017
    BirdsBlack-headed GullChroicocephalus ridibundus28/01/2018
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesBlack-tailed SkimmerOrthetrum cancellatum17/07/2016
    WildflowersBlack HorehoundBallota nigra28/08/2016
    WildflowersBlack MedickMedicago lupulina14/05/2017
    Ferns & HorsetailsBlack SpleenwortAsplenium adiantum-nigrum02/09/2019
    BirdsBlackbirdTurdus merula07/12/2016
    BirdsBlackcapSylvia atricapilla20/05/2019
    Trees, Shrubs & ClimbersBlackthornPrunus spinosa07/08/2016
    Dragonflies and DamselfliesBlue-tailed DamselflyIschnura elegans28/07/2016
    BirdsBlue TitCyanistes caeruleus07/12/2016
    MothsBordered CarlCoptotriche marginea25/03/2019
    MothsBramble Shoot MothNotocelia uddmanniana15/08/2015
    WildflowersBranched Bur-reedSparganium erectum07/08/2016
    ButterfliesBrimstoneGonepteryx rhamni18/04/2018
    WildflowersBristly OxtongueHelminthotheca echioides28/07/2016
    WildflowersBroad-leaved DockRumex obtusifolius17/07/2016