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Wildlife halts restoration work… for a while

Wildlife halts work

On 19th May the SDC Canal team Tweeted the following message… ‘Thwarted! Work didn't start at Wallbridge. A pair of Moorhens have set up a nest, complete with eggs, over the weekend! Back in 4 weeks or so.’

Wallbridge Lower Lock

This short message identified the fact that, due to the presence of a Moorhen nest and eggs, canal contractors, Land & Water, had been unable to commence work clearing the chamber of Wallbridge Lower Lock. (Pictured right)

Hope Mill Pound

On Saturday 6th June CCT Dredging Manager, Robin Payne, reported that his team had similarly made the decision to cease dredging work near Hope Mill.

Robin explains… "Moorhens had set up a nest on a mound of mud and a fallen tree branch in the middle of the dredging site. So, we watched the chicks for a while and went home."  

The Hope Mill Moorhen family had enjoyed a successful hatch. (See 2nd pic). On Sunday 7th June the adults were being followed around the pound by their fluffy black offspring. (3rd pic)

Foxes at Lodgemore

Without wishing to cause any alarm in respect of the local water fowl we can report that a family of foxes seem to have a den on the high, offside, canal bank opposite Lodgemore Mill.

Walk & Talk Evening

Members of the Cotswold Federation of Small Businesses spotted two fox cubs peering cheekily through the high grasses as the FSB group passed along the towpath during a Cotswold Canals Trust ‘Walk & Talk Evening’ on Monday 8th June.

Nature Notes

  • The female common moorhen lays four to twelve eggs at a rate of one egg per day. The eggs hatch in 17-22 days. The chicks develop quickly and leave the nest to feed themselves within a few days of hatching
  • Fox cubs are born in the spring in the breeding den. They are born blind and are fed by the mother. Two weeks later their eyes open and they begin to inspect their surroundings. From then on they can be seen near the den

Restoration reassurance

Stroud District Council's Canal Project Manager Dave Marshall explained…

"The restoration project continuously monitors the impact that civil engineering and maintenance work has upon the flora and fauna.

"The public and our own team members are fascinated by what can be seen and heard living along the canal corridor.

"Work continues elsewhere and work on the sites favoured by the Moorhens will recommence as soon as possible."