The waterway corridor constitutes a 'living landscape', giving millions of people the opportunity to visit and enjoy the natural environment.
Our canals and rivers provide aquatic and riparian habitats, which support biodiversity and enhance the quality of the landscape. Inland waterways provide a range of habitats, from woodland and hedgerow, through to grassland, wetlands and open water, as well as providing important links between habitats in an increasingly fragmented landscape.
The Canal & River trust network alone includes all or part of 65 Special Sites of Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and links with over 1,000 non-statutory nature sites.
There are a few sites where the environmental and ecological risks are so important that particular care is required. In such cases there is a need for waterway authorities to work with other stakeholders such as Natural England and the Countryside Council for Wales to secure a sensitive approach. The Conservation Management Strategy for the Montgomery Canal is a good example of where a partnership approach has been successful.