News article created on 8 March 2021

Improvements for wildlife habitats along Montgomery Canal

We're carrying out improvements to wildlife habitats along the Montgomery Canal thanks to funding secured from the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Management Scheme - Supporting Natura 2000 Restoration.

Montgomery SSSI Montgomery SSSI

The six-week £245,000 project is taking place along the unnavigable stretch of canal from Brynderwen Lock to Freestone Lock and further north at the Guilsfield Arm. The work involves removing weeds and overgrown vegetation from within the channel and trimming back overhanging trees and bushes from along the towpath and the water’s edge.

Improve conditions for plants and fish

Removing the overgrown vegetation will open up the channel and create clearer, more oxygenated water which will help improve conditions for plants and fish in this designated Special Area of Conservation. Amongst the species to benefit will be the rare aquatic plant Floating Water Plantain Luronium natans which has a stronghold along the Montgomery Canal.

Whilst on site we will also be carrying out repairs to culverts along the Guilsfield Arm which, although unfortunately cut off from the canal mainline by a modern road bridge, is being developed as a special place for nature. A refurbished weed boat is also being fitted with new equipment to aid volunteers and their efforts to stay on top of the vegetation within the channel.

Keeping the canal healthy

Mark Evans, director for Wales at Canal & River Trust, said: "It’s really important to keep the Montgomery Canal in good health. If the water channel becomes choked with vegetation, the habitat quality quickly deteriorates, which isn’t good for the wildlife that lives along the canal or local people who like to stroll along the towpath.

"Keeping the channel clear and allowing light to penetrate helps native and rare plants to flourish creating healthy habitats for fish, insects and small mammals. Research shows that being by water is good for you, so having the canal teeming with life will help to make us all feel happier and healthier."