Wildlife & Environment

Protecting and restoring our environment starts right on our doorstep…

Through the restoration of the waterway, the Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust seeks to promote green, more sustainable travel around the city and the county by enhancing existing cycle paths, supporting the use of electric boats and providing exciting new destinations for recreational activity. With time we hope to encourage motorists to use their cars for fewer journeys and inspire them to walk or cycle to their destination by introducing a much more attractive alternative to road travel. Canal restoration projects bring many environmental and public health benefits to every area the route passes through which is what makes their progressive regeneration effect so far reaching.

A Wildlife Haven

The restoration of the Derby Canal will introduce a green corridor into Derby, restoring wildlife habitats and encouraging local people to engage and be inspired by the natural environment. The UK canal and river network provides essential connections between green spaces within the UK. The Derby canal route connects multiple areas of Derby together, links existing parks and introduces a waterway link with the surrounding countryside.

The Derby canal route is a wildlife haven, from the heavily wooded stretch at Swarkestone/Chellaston through urban Derby to the open countryside from Borrowash to Breaston. There is a great variety of wildlife to be seen. Foxes, badgers, rabbits, hares, and weasels abound and in the short stretch at Borrowash which has been dug out, there have been sightings of kingfishers and herons. Other wildlife known to live here are smooth newts, frogs and fish and not too far away there are water voles. The lay of the land at Draycott lends itself to ground nesting birds such as the skylark. Lapwings are also common here. The Trust has planted a traditional hedge at Draycott, a great attraction for the wildlife.  A large proportion of the original hawthorn hedgerow is still on the canal, providing food and shelter. The Trust lays its own hedge laying through the hard work of its working parties. A full canal restoration would see the enhancement of every one of these habitats as well as further increasing biodiversity in Derbyshire.

This video shows how canal restoration has helped those living in urban areas of London reconnect with nature and develop an interest in wildlife conservation.

To find out more about the importance of canals and rivers to UK wildlife visit the Canal and River Trust’s Wildlife webpage, below.


From February 2018 the Canal and River Trust is also running the “Wear the Green Heart” campaign which educates the boaters and local residents in how they can best protect their local waterside environment.