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Aston Nature Reserve, Montgomery Canal: Habitats and heritage

Aston Nature Reserve, Montgomery Canal

Oswestry, Shropshire


IWA Shrewsbury District & North Wales Branch


Waterway Recovery Group

After the Montgomery Canal was abandoned it became a haven for flora and fauna. So much so that in 1986 one area at Aston Locks became a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of the rare species found there.

Work to bring the canal back into use as a navigation must also protect habitats.  Consequently, IWA’s Waterway Recovery Group has created offline nature reserves. This offset the value of the canal’s SSSI and allows restoration of the main route to go ahead.

Adding two large new ponds in 2018 to Aston Nature Reserve was possible thanks to support from the National Lottery. They gave an overall net gain in habitat for rare species, which enabled the canal to be opened up to navigation once again.

[The photo shows the restored Montgomery Canal at Gronwen Wharf  –  by Alan Wilding]


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Gronwen Wharf on the Montgomery Canal
Gronwen Wharf on the Montgomery Canal by Alan Wilding.

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