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Worcester & Birmingham Canal
Once a site of busy commercial traffic, Worcester and Birmingham Canal is almost 30 miles long and runs through Worcester from Diglis Basin to Six Ways. It took 24 years to construct and was fully opened in 1815. The final commercial cargo from Cadbury’s left Bournville in 1961 and the canal is now a conservation area.
The UK’s canal network is about 2,500km in length making up only 1% of our freshwaters. While canals are not known for their underwater wildlife, the waterway banks made up of hedgerows, trees and scrub are incredibly valuable for biodiversity. You can spot dragonflies and damselflies near their favoured water habitats during the summer months, making use of the habitats above and below water. The uninterrupted green corridors alongside the canal bring nature right into the heart of Worcester; you may even spot otters and kingfishers, both of which have been sighted along the canal at Perdiswell!
The stark contrast between the legacy of British industrial history and the uninterrupted green corridors can seem jarring, perhaps even despairing considering what we have lost. But this juxtaposition serves as a reminder that we are a part of nature not apart from nature - we just need to learn to see, nurture and reconnect with it.