The Ashby Canal, (or Ashby-de-la-Zouch canal officially, despite never quite reaching the town) is a canal that keeps on giving in terms of flora, fauna and history! Along it’s 22 mile stretch there are no locks, which means no portages along this beautiful stretch either… another win.
So what makes this canal so special? Well there are a number of reasons. The stretch between Snarestone and Carlton Bridge is listed as a site of special scientific interest. It’s home to many varieties of aquatic plants and animals that you wouldn’t see on many other stretches of the canal.
Wildlife on the Ashby Canal
Some of the more rare sightings along the canal you might spot are up to 9, yes 9, varieties of dragonfly, water shrews and the rare water beetle.
It’s generally a canal that is rich in lush green hedgerows and reed beds, supporting wildlife in abundance with kingfishers, herons and moorhens aplenty along the stretch.
That’s not where the fun stops though… for the history lovers out there, read on! This canal opens up a wealth of history stretching right back to medieval times.
At certain points along the canal, you can see the ridge and furrow patterns created by medieval farmers when ploughing all the way back when!
Fast forward a few hundred years, and the canal line also touches the western edge of Bosworth field, where Richard III fell to the hands of Henry Tudor in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth. Now THAT’S some history right there!