The Canal and River Trust is currently giving a major boost to rare aquatic flora and fauna on the Montgomery Canal, one of Britain’s most picturesque canals, with their £320,000 dredging and vegetation management program.
During March and April, over 1¼ miles of un-navigable waterway has benefited from a major excavation of the overgrown channel, removal of dead and fallen trees, trimming of overgrown trees and vegetation, and extensive bank repairs.
This will create clearer, more oxygenated water, which in turn promotes the growth of healthy plants and animals. Amongst the species to benefit will be the endangered water vole, as well as dragonflies and the rare aquatic plant Floating Water Plantain Luronium natans, said the Trust.
Funded by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, the work is being carried out in two sections between Refail Bridge 129 and Bridge 132, just south of Berriew, and Maerdy Bridge 102 to Bridge 103 in Arddleen. Both are designated as a Site of Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI).
Mark Weatherall, the project manager, said: “It is vitally important to keep the Montgomery Canal in good health. If the water channel becomes choked with weeds, the water quality quickly deteriorates and becomes stagnant.”
“By creating deeper, clearer fresh water channels, plants can flourish and create healthy habitiats for fish, insects and small mammals. Biodiversity is greatly improved and the deeper channels actually inhibit the growth of weeds in the main channel resulting in better water flows throughout the canal.”
The work is being carried out by contractors, Ebsford Environmental and will be completed by the end of April.