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Aston Nature Reserve: Habitats & heritage

Aston Nature Reserve

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 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. This enabled excavation of the canal itself into a navigation again.

The Canal & River Trust hopes to implement a clearer Biodiversity Net Gain approach in future phases of the restoration. The approach will not only be for aquatic habitats.

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Campaign updates

Waterway underfunding

Hundreds of miles of waterways – along with their unique heritage and habitats – are currently starved of funding and rely on constant lobbying by us to safeguard their future.

Waterway restoration

Restoring the UK’s blue infrastructure – our inherited network of navigable canals and rivers – is good for people and places.

Waterway businesses

The government needs to intervene at the earliest possible opportunity to save this vital sector of the British economy and what could be a core element of the British stay-at-home leisure and holiday sectors in the coming years.

Waterways affected by HS2

We’re campaigning to protect canals and rivers from the damaging effects of HS2, especially where the tranquillity of the waterways is under threat.