Posted by: lensweb | June 17, 2014

Erewash Canal Community Day LENS with The Canal and River Trust

Erewash Canal Community Day LENS with The Canal and River Trust

Date June 14

Meet Dockholm Lock NG10 4JB

Time 10am-12.30pm

The Erewash Canal is a major artery through Long Eaton. The section from Derby Road to Sandiacre Lock Cottage is so special to LENS that in the aftermath of the Stanton pollution incident we took the decision to formally adopt it. On Saturday we held our second community day to encourage local involvement with upkeep of the canal and increase understanding of the associated wildlife.

The Canal and River Trust provided all the knowledge and equipment we needed to restore the black and white character to the canal furniture at Dockholm Lock.

Canal community day Dockholme Scott Keith and John 140614 IMG_0748

It is surprising just how many merry souls walk, jog, cycle and boat this route, full of reminiscence and admiration of this canal section of the Erewash Valley Way. The time passed too quickly as surfaces were prepped and painted with black treacly Hammerite.

anal community day DockholmeIMG_0744

With wet paint signs in position, we set off on a nature walk with Tony Maggs. Heading  onto Toton Washlands to lean on the bridge across the River Erewash watching a kingfisher

It was the Rainbow gave thee birth,  

And left thee all her lovely hues;

And, as her mother’s name was Tears,

So runs it in my blood to choose

For haunts the lonely pools, and keep

In company with trees that weep.

Go you and, with such glorious hues,

Live with proud peacocks in green parks; on lawns as smooth as shining glass, let every feather show its marks; get thee on boughs and clap thy wings Before the windows of proud kings.

Nay, lovely Bird, thou art not vain;

Thou hast no proud, ambitious mind;

I also love a quiet place

That’s green, away from all mankind;

A lonely pool, and let a tree

Sigh with her bosom over me.

William Henry Davies

toton washlands

We had all the time in the world as we tripped along the flood bund above the exuberant bramble, nettle and nodding blue cranesbill which screened the old oxbows and deep froggy pools.  One brave marsh orchid peered above the rank grass.  It was a bit of a puzzle, the flower spike is smaller and more flat headed than the usual Southern Marsh Orchids we see, and the flower is darker purple, some people think it may be Northern Marsh Orchid ssp purpurella. There is only one  more southerly outpost of this species in the New Forest.  A lot of wetland habitat has disappeared over recent years, mainly due to drainage, but this colony is having a problem due to cessation of animal grazing at the site. Now that dog ownership is so popular it is not safe to graze livestock. So, feeling sorry for the beautiful but solitary orchid we cleared around the flower spike and hope for more next year.

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We spent a long  time breathing sunshine, leaning on the farther bridge looking for water voles and the family of greater spotted woodpeckers feeding young seen earlier, no luck this time.

Swans Erewash Canal LE 140614IMG_0766

Taking the return path along the Erewash Canal, yellow flag, pond sedge, purple loosestrife and flowering rush delighted. ‘Our’ family of swans was feeding among the yellow and white water lily flowers and a meadow brown butterfly was ‘resting it’s wings’.

Meadow brown 140614 IMG_0758

Marion Bryce 17 June 2014


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