Habitat creation theme for waterside wildlife watch sessions

COTSWOLD Canals Trust and RSPB member Martin Wright will lead nine winter and springtime Wednesday Waterside Wildlife Watch gatherings starting on January 16.

Cotswold Canals Trust and RSPB member Martin Wright. PHOTO: COTSWOLD CANALS TRUST

Four sessions will feature the Cotswold Canals whilst the remaining five will highlight watery environs elsewhere in Gloucestershire.

The 2019 events will follow the theme Waterways and Wildlife Habitat Creation recognising the aims of the Heritage Lottery Funded ‘Stroudwater Connected Project’ currently in its development phase.

All meetings start at 10am and the cost is £2 for CCT members and £4 for guests. Experience has shown that these sessions are not suitable for dogs.

The project to reconnect Saul and Stonehouse by water will include plans to create or restore eighty acres of Biodiversity Action Plan habitat.

The CCT Waterside Wildlife Watch Groups will visit publicly accessible canal & water related locations that possess established wildlife habitat significance.

Some of these sites are professionally managed. It is hoped that the Waterside Wildlife Watch group’s findings might identify techniques and practices to assist in establishing and maintaining a wildlife-rich habitat along the Stroudwater Navigation.

Most meetings have coffee and snack facilities nearby. Car sharing can be arranged for longer journeys, call Martin on 01453 889608.

Starting places:

  1. January 16 — Wallbridge, Stroud — Junction formed between Stroudwater Navigation and Thames & Severn Canal in 1789
  2. January 30 — Alney Island, Gloucester — where the Herefordshire and Gloucestershire Canal once linked with Gloucester Docks
  3. February 13 — Saul, Nr Frampton on Severn — The forgotten leg of the Stroudwater Navigation and its junction with the River Severn at Framilode
  4. February 27 — Coombe Hill, Cheltenham — the canal once intended to link Cheltenham with the River Severn
  5. March 13 — Sharpness Docks — the terminus of the sixteen miles long canal opened in 1827 to avoid the shallow and winding River Severn
  6. March 27 — Lydney, Forest of Dean — a canal linking the Forest of Dean tram-road system to a harbour on the River Severn
  7. April 10 — Fromebridge — includes the Stroudwater Navigation and part of the ill-fated canal scheme conceived by John Kemmett in the 1760s
  8. April 24 — Cotswold Water Park, Cirencester — on the line of the Thames & Severn canal towards Lechlade
  9. May 8 — ‘The Ocean’ at Stonehouse — where the first stage of The Cotswold Canals Restoration meets the second