The Thames and Severn Canal was completed in 1789, and not surprisingly, linked up the River Thames and the River Severn. It crosses difficult terrain, and history books suggest that it was never one of the UK’s more successful canals. Most of the canal was abandoned in 1927, with it all being closed by 1941. Some parts of it (notably between Stroud and the Severn) are undergoing restoration, but much of the remainder is either disused, or indeed has disappeared altogether.
The stretch we visited is near Cerney Wick in the Cotswold Water Park, and although it is disused, the towpath is maintained and it still holds some water. As you can see from the photos it is absolutely stunning. We have Pond dipped at The Cotswold Water Park before, but had never tried the canal, so we were excited to see what we might find in there.
We took simple fishing nets and a plastic container with us on our explore. The container gives you a chance to have a good look at anything you catch, without distressing or damaging the animal. Once we had had a little look at the creatures, we returned them back to the area of the canal we had found them in.
We were delighted to find a tadpole, a tiny infant crayfish, plus a selection of water mini-beasts.
We loved that in areas we were able to get right into the canal – it was like being in a jungle, and is an amazing place to explore!
The kids really did enjoy themselves, especially when they were chucking pond slime at each other
It really was a wonderful afternoon canal dipping in the disused Thames and Severn Canal as part of our #30DaysWild challenge.