Monday, November 01, 2010

Wildlife is thriving on the Kennet & Avon Canal says BW survey

If you want to see otters, water voles, red kites, kestrels and slow worms, — then the Kennet & Avon Canal is the place to go and this year's British Waterways Wildlife Survey proves the point.
Picture by Darin Smith

Wiltshire Wildlife

Leela O’Dea the British Waterways’ environment manager said, “The survey really shows just what exciting, unusual and sometimes rare creatures live on our local waterways.

"And with recorded sightings of otters on the Kennet & Avon Canal it really is a positive sign that our waterways are clean, have a good food source and provide suitable habitats for them to live.”
Picture by Darin Smith

Wiltshire Wildlife

"We have seen an increase in the number of water voles sighted compared to 2009.”British Waterways’ national ecology manager, Mark Robinson, said,  “Following last winter’s harsh weather we were concerned that some species, and in particular kingfishers, could suffer. I’m delighted that we’ve had so many records of kingfishers from across the country this year. The results really show the resilience of nature and the importance of our canal and river network in providing vital shelter and food for a wide variety of wildlife.

"That these four species in particular have been sighted more than in previous years is a testament to the huge improvements in water quality and habitat management that we, along with local communities and partner organisations, have worked hard for. They are all great indicators of a healthy and thriving ecosystem."
Alan McFady's picture of a Kingfisher won for him 
first prize in the British Waterways Wildlife 
Photography Competition.

More than 40,000 sightings were recorded this year by canal users with encouraging sightings of house sparrows that are vanishing from our towns and cities. An increase of 23% over 2009 makes it the fifth most sighted species.  

Of course, inevitably, other popular species that have made the top of the 'most sighted' list are British water birds including mallards, moorhens, and swans. 

Each year as part of the survey BW runs a photographic competition and this years competion produced some truly amazing pictures — a few of them are reproduced below.

1 comment:

  1. we had a lovely dog walk along the canal this morning, 09 sept and saw an otter and a kingfisher.The canal is clearly alive and kicking