Stop 9: A peaceful place for wildlife

This section of the canal is a tranquil haven - until the quarrelsome coots start disturbing the peace!

Dragonfly in the air Dragonfly

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A safe haven

More boats on the canal could have an adverse impact on wildlife. So part of the restoration project involved creating a series of mini nature reserves. Whitehouse Nature Reserve was formed when the canal was re-routed in 1995, has become a haven for many species.

Little rays of sunshine

In summer, yellow water lilies light up the water. These plants grow from large tubers in the canal bed. They have cabbage-like leaves, some floating on the surface as ‘lily pads’.

Moorhens and coots

These black water birds look similar, but coots have a white forehead and the moorhen’s is red. They are very different in character. Moorhens are timid, whereas coots are aggressive and often involved in noisy, splashing fights.

Enjoy the views

On one side of the canal are the beautiful Briedden Hills; on the other is Powys Castle. Oaks from the parkland at Powys were once cut for timber, and transported along the canal.

Green corridors

The hedges and verges along the towpath, free from chemical treatments, provide a habitat for many birds and insects. In summer, look for butterflies such as the gatekeeper, green-veined white and tortoiseshell. 


Both the moorhen and coot have similar harsh calls. Listen to the difference.


Take the path that leads back round the other side of the nature reserve. The next stop is by Whitehouse Bridge. 

Last date edited: 17 July 2015