Fradley Junction

Fradley Junction

Fradley Junction, Alrewas, Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, DE13 7DN.

Fradley Junction is where the Trent & Mersey Canal meets the Coventry Canal. It has always been a busy place with lots going on and is a perfect location to learn about STEM, habitats and the local area. 

The courtyard was once a smoky and noisy place where blacksmiths and carpenters made and repaired the lock gates. The cottages were built for canal workers and you can still see the crane in the yard where boats once unloaded their wares.

Fradley Pool

Today Fradley Pool is an important nature reserve which attracts lots of wildlife. It looks very peaceful but there’s lots going on above and below the surface of the water! Look out for the thatched bird hide, it’s the perfect place to sit and watch the birds without being seen.


KS1 KS2 Habitats: Pond Dipping, Bird Spotting & Wildlife Discovery

The canal junction and reservoir provide a variety of habitats for wildlife. Children learn to spot, identify and classify birds and animals, where to find them and how food chains work using our pond dipping platforms, bug trails and bird hide. 

KS1 KS2 Guided Locks Trail

Discover the secrets of Fradley Junction and the disputes of canal owners and boaters over water supply and locks. See the canal cottages, dry dock, courtyard and swing bridge. You’ll take part in a demonstration of how locks work and if you're lucky you might even see a boat going through the lock!

KS1 KS2 Build a Canal

This activity helps children to understand how and why canals were built, how they changed Britain and how they are different to rivers. It provides an interactive way of discussing local industry and how the arrival of the canals shaped the landscape.

KS1 KS2 Building Bridges

Have a go at building model canal bridges and find out why arches are such a good shape.

KS1 KS2 Floating & Sinking

This workshop will help children develop a clearer understanding of the factors affecting whether something sinks or floats. Children take the challenge of loading a model boat with cargo, trying not to sink it!

KS1 KS2 Stay SAFE Near Water

All our visits include learning about water safety and how to respect the canal environment. We offer pre-visits, where our volunteers can come into your school to run a water safety assembly or incorporate it into your canal-side visit.

Self-guided Trails

Our downloadable trails introduce children to the history and wildlife of Fradley Junction.

Learning Resources

Use the following resources to support learning on your visit and back in the classroom:

All About Canals

All About Rivers

Life on the English Waterways

Discover Wildlife Poster

Canal & River Habitats Learning Bundle

Find out more about Fradley Junction.


Free facilities for teachers include pre-visits and downloadable trails.

Practicalities include limited toilets, a pay & display car park, a café, a small indoor workshop space for booked visits and a listening post trail. Coaches MUST drop off at the entrance to the site, due to the narrow path.

To ensure your visit runs smoothly and safely by water, we offer visits for one class per booking (roughly 30 children). Visits are 2 hours. If you need to bring two classes, then you could book a morning and afternoon slot e.g. 10am – 12noon and 1pm – 3pm.


Visits to Fradley Junction are FREE!