The charity making life better by water

Honeysuckle by the canal

Unlocking Biodiversity

Our Unlocking Biodiversity project will provide an important step towards preserving and restoring habitats in the West Midlands through conservation and restoration works.

Why are canals important for biodiversity?

Canals offer a variety of habitats which attract different species of flora and fauna all year round.

Due to their linear structure, canals can also provide 'connective corridors', which create a link through urban and rural environments. These corridors offer habitats, foraging opportunities and freer movement for species without them having to pass through exposed areas of fragmented landscape.

Our waterways, including West Midland’s canals, are home to important species that are listed under government protection plans - such as water voles, brown long-eared bats, brown hairstreak butterflies and kingfishers.

However, global warming and changes in land usage are putting their habitats at risk, and contributing to a decline in their populations.

boat travelling along very well grown towpath

How are we working to restore canal habitats?

Our mission is to enhance and restore habitats for protected and priority species across 335km of canal across the West Midlands.

Funded by Severn Trent as part of their Great Nature Boost project, Unlocking Biodiversity will be delivered by our staff, volunteers, and through contractor collaborations.

The key aims of the project are:

  • to protect, improve and expand our most at-risk habitats and species
  • to increase biodiversity by planting more native plants and flowers, and improve the management of them to ensure good quality, long-lasting habitats
  • to connect fragmented habitats and species populations together by creating focused wildlife corridors in key locations

Our project areas

Last Edited: 09 February 2024

photo of a location on the canals
newsletter logo

Stay connected

Sign up to our monthly newsletter and be the first to hear about campaigns, upcoming events and fundraising inspiration