Thanks to £1,500 of donations from our supporters, on top of a large grant from the SITA Trust, a rare aquatic plant on the 200-year old Huddersfield Narrow Canal in Stalybridge is being protected and given the opportunity to flourish.
The work will reverse the long-term decline of the rare Floating Water Plantain, Luronium Natans. Floating water plantain is native to Europe and Britain’s canals provide one of its most important habitats.
We want to protect this plant so that future generations have the chance to appreciate the canal environment that we do today. The biodiversity of our canals and rivers is unique to us and one of the reasons our canals and rivers are such special places to visit.
The project was supported by £100,000 from the SITA Trust through the Landfill Communities Fund and saw our volunteers and ecologists working together.
This included dredging, cutting back overhanging vegetation to provide more light and creating areas to enable the replanting of the rare plant.
We worked with Chester Zoo and other partners to assist in the conservation of native species. As part of the project, the zoo grew plants in ponds, behind the scenes, which were used to re-stock the canal once the habitat improvement works were completed.
Chris John, national ecologist at the Trust, said: “The Huddersfield Narrow Canal is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its range of aquatic plants and is also home to a variety of other wildlife including mallards and moorhens, dragonflies and kingfishers.
“Thanks to the funding from SITA and the help of volunteers we have re-established Luronium Natans and are helping return this SSSI back to its previous condition, creating a beautiful canal for people to enjoy.”