This is the fourth wildlife survey the Worcester Canal Group has undertaken. In 2016 we concentrated on the mile long stretch of canal from the Marina to Bilford bottom lock. A bat walk, a moth breakfast and a wildlife walk were included in that survey. In 2017 we used the CRT workboat the Wanderer to look at wildlife habitats along and adjoining the canal towpath. In 2018 we concentrated on Barbourne brook, especially where it runs through Gheluveldt Park. This year we have taken a closer look at Perdiswell. The Worcester Canal Group has recently adopted more of the canal and now covers Perdiswell.
These wildlife surveys are not purposeless. Nor are they searches for the unusual or spectacular.
The canal is a wildlife corridor. The experience of conservation work everywhere is that wildlife habitats which become isolated decline and fail. In areas like cities a corridor which connects wildlife habitats is necessary if that wildlife is to spread and thrive.
Our wildlife corridor consists of more than just the canal and the towpath.
The canal is part of a six mile long circuit of water within the city of Worcester consisting of the canal, the River Severn and Barbourne brook. At the southern, Diglis, end the canal connects with the river, with Cherry Orchard Nature Reserve, with Chapter Meadows and with the countryside to the south and west. At the Six Ways end of the city it is linked to the countryside to the north and east. For much of its course through the city the canal runs very close to Barbourne brook which as a largely unrecognised wildlife habitat links the canal to the river Severn at Gheluveldt and on to the countryside to the north and west.
In the course of our surveys we have identified some twenty areas, some large and some small, which adjoin the canal and are wildlife habitats. Some are managed, many are not. These areas could be linked and enhanced.