The builders started in 1796 and it was open for business for 80 years conveying coal to Cheltenham until the lock connecting it to the River Severn was damaged and it wasn't worth repairing. In the 1950s it got a "Site of Special Scientific Interest" badge and was bought by the local wildlife trust in 1999. This was because the canal was still wet and the area around it flooded most years which is good for birds and other wildlife. Actually, it didn't flood as well as it used to because the land had been "improved" for agriculture so part of the plan has been to ruin the drainage. I wonder if in 100 years time, they'll reinstate the drainage to recreate a "traditional improved agricultural landscape" or perhaps there will be a desperate need to grow food?
Anyway, the result is it's wet. This picture show the start of an official circular walk around the Northern Meadows. There was an alternative walk to a hide along a boardwalk but...
So, some learning points:
- Good walking boots are needed for the towpath
- Almost any excursions will need wellington boots unless there's been a prolonged drought
- When I've tried again with wellies, I might report that waders are needed, or even SCUBA gear!
|Can't actually see the wildlife here but there are nice clouds|
|Did I mention it was wet? You need waders or binoculars to read this information board|
|Found this sign near where the canal enters the Severn. Elvers are a juvenile form of the common eel and considered a delicacy by some|
Some interesting links: