Read the story of how the Canal & River Trust came to be
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Planning & design
All you need to know about planning and design on our canals and rivers
Find a winter mooring
Find a cosy section of canal to hunker down in this winter
10 reasons to take up canoeing
It's a great way to get fit and explore our waterways at the same time
Share the Space
Take a look at our common sense guide to sharing the towpath
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From reservoirs to club-managed canals and river stretches - find your nearest place to fish
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Something for everyone
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Desmond Family Canoe Trail
If you're aged 16-25 and would like to get involved with this exciting project, please get in touch
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Find out what's involved with this popular volunteering opportunity
We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.
An endangered beetle which was once so common that the Victorians used them to decorate their clothes is set to get a new home on the Selby Canal in order to protect their numbers.
The Tansy beetle is a beautiful green beetle that locally feeds exclusively on the Tansy plant. Although the plant is quite common the beetles are unable to fly making it difficult for them to colonise new areas and as a result they are now isolated in just a few small pockets – most notably alongside a stretch of the River Ouse near York.
As the Ouse is prone to flooding, scientists from the University of York our ecologists are now working together to establish a new population of the beetles on a recently discovered patch of Tansy alongside the Selby Canal. The new location won’t flood and will provide a safe place for the beetles to thrive.
The beetle hasn’t always been in such a perilous position, it was once more widespread and it’s believed that the glittering green wing cases were used as decorations in much the same way as sequins are used today. Now, however, the beetle is endangered worldwide and, here in the UK, can only be found on a stretch of the Ouse as well as one other site in the Cambridgeshire Fens.
The main threat to the beetle has been a loss of appropriate habitat and this, coupled with their very poor ability to disperse, has meant populations have disappeared one-by-one. The Tansy plant on which both adults and larvae feed around York is also threatened by changes in land-use and the spread of invasive species such as Himalayan Balsam.
Dr Geoff Oxford, from the University of York, said; “Although the total beetle population around York often numbers in the thousands, one major summer flood on the River Ouse could exterminate the lot. We are therefore extremely grateful to the Canal & River Trust for offering us this site on the Selby Canal in which to establish an ‘ark’ population of beetles which is safe from this threat.”
Phillippa Baron, ecologist for the Canal & River Trust said; “We’re delighted to help in the efforts to protect these beautiful little beetles. They’re like the giant panda of the beetle world so it’s important that people step in to give them a helping hand and try to establish a healthy, growing population.
“They’re such a gorgeous little beetle and it’s a real shame to see them under threat so hopefully this new population will be just the start in their recovery.”
Around 50 captive-bred beetles are due to be released on the canal. The beetles feed solely on Tansy in Yorkshire and rarely venture from the plant so do not pose a threat to native species or agriculture.
Canal & River Trust brand
19 March 2018
Bookings now open for 2018 Canal Pairs Championship
Breach of the Middlewich Branch, Shropshire Union Canal
16 March 2018
Heritage transport plaque awarded to Froghall Basin on Caldon Canal
15 March 2018
Artists launch ambitious cultural programme in Worcester
12 March 2018
Fradley event gives fascinating insight into our feathered friends
We're calling for boaters to take part in our 'boat owners views survey'
9 March 2018
Take a 'lock' behind the ‘Seends’ of the Kennet & Avon Canal