Wildlife & nature
Britain's canals are not only a haven for people, they provide vital green spaces for trees, flowers & grasses, insects, fish, birds and an amazing wealth of waterways wildlife too. Almost ironically, manmade canals have become a natural haven for wildlife in the countryside and an oasis of nature in urban landscapes, with over 1,000 wildlife conservation sites and 65 sites of Special Scientific Interest.
It is impossible to visit the waterways and ignore the wildlife - whether you spot a kingfisher, catch a glimpse of a cheeky robin from the corner of your eye, or go specially to feed the ducks. You can even roll up your sleeves and get involved with the protection of endangered species such as water voles.
Great places to go for a day out spotting wildlife:
Pocklington Canal - Yorkshire
Fradley Pool Nature Reserve - Trent & Mersey/Coventry Canals - Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire
Forth & Clyde Canal - Scotland
Llangollen Canal - Shropshire & Wales
Caen Hill Lock Flight - Kennet and Avon Canal - Devizes, Wiltshire
Galton Valley - Birmingham Canal Navigations - Smethwick, West Midlands
Glasson Branch - Lancaster Canal - Lancashire
Or just find your local canal on the Canal & River Trust website
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Get involved - the Canal & River Trust Great Nature Watch
Organised by the Canal & River Trust, their annual survey
tracks sightings of a variety of species, including dragonflies, kingfishers and badgers. All information supplied by the public is inputted into the Canal & River Trust's wildlife database to help with conservation work.