Canal wildlife haven, near Cwmbrân
The canal route north of Cwmbrân is a haven for flora and fauna. Its importance as a travel corridor for wildlife increased as more and more houses, roads, shops and industries were built, replacing many fields, hedgerows and wooded areas.
The canal also allows residents to enjoy the sight of aquatic flora and fauna near their homes, as well as the trees and other plants which grow along the canal banks or in the water. This can contribute to wellbeing.
The Bridge 46 to Five Locks Group, which helps to maintain this part of the canal, suggests the plants and animals below for you to look out for – among many other species – as you follow the towpath.
Roach often gather in shaded areas. Rudd thrive in slow or still waters with plenty of vegetation. They’re here all year but most often seen in warmer months. Gudgeon are small fish which feed on the bottom of the canal.
The canal’s fish support a small population of kingfishers – look out for the colourful flash as they fly over the water. Canada geese breed beside the canal each year – a species imported to Britain as ornaments for the wealthy in the 17th century.
Duckweed is Britain’s smallest flowering plant. It has no leaves or steams but floats freely in dense colonies – a favourite food of ducks. Arrowhead has arrow-shaped leaves and grows in slow or standing water. Leaves, tubers and roots are edible, and the dried root is sometimes ground for bread making. Purple loosestrife has lush flowering spikes 30cm long which attract bees and butterflies.
With thanks to Tracey Leake-Jones, of the Bridge 46 to Five Locks Canal Group
Postcode: NP44 1DJ View Location Map