Thursday, 7 May 2009

Nottingham Canal

Before tackling the delights of Tesco this morning, Malcolm had the bright idea to have a walk along the Nottingham Canal. What a good idea it was. The sun was shining although it was still a little breezy.

The canal was first thought of in 1790 in order to facilitate the transportation of coal from the pits around Nottingham. Despite many problems during construction - not least of which was that the canal ran through the estate of one of it's chief benefactors - it opened in 1796 at a cost of around £87,000.

As with many modern transport systems, the management of the canal soon began to alienate the very people who were supposed to benefit from it. The tolls payable for it's use were increased excessively and when the railways came along in the 1840's, many canal users quickly 'jumped ship' and abandoned the canal. the canal was finally closed in 1936. More problems followed with flooding of parts of Nottingham city in bad weather. This led to many parts of the canal being filled in.
Some parts of the canal are now run as nature reserves and judging by the bird life around this morning, very successfully. These cheeky little Coot chick were particularly charming.

Not so charming, but much bigger was this Grey Heron - looking for fish, frogs, small rodents, in fact almost anything which moves!

The plant life is equally interesting. These architectural Lesser Pond Sedges (Carex acutiformis) being particularly worthy of note.

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