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Along The Wey & Arun Canal – September 2017

Published on: 12 Sep, 2017
Updated on: 13 Sep, 2017

A regular update from the Wey & Arun Canal Trust (WACT), which is restoring a waterway which once ran 23 miles from Shalford to Pallingham in West Sussex. The Trust has established the Hunt Nature Park, where the canal route meets the River Wey, as part of its aim to create a green corridor for wildlife and recreation.

Keen WACT photographer Dave Verrall has been out and about on the Surrey section of the canal snapping examples of the magnificent wildlife which can be found in our “green corridor”.

Dave, a member who is supervisor of the canal centre at Loxwood, just over the West Sussex border, regularly contributes photographs to the trust newsletter, our website and our social media pages.

Construction work was only recently been completed at Compasses Bridge, at the Alford entrance to Dunsfold Park aerodrome and business complex, so Dave was pleased to find several species of insect there.

Male common darter dragonfly.

He saw common darter, southern hawker and brown hawker dragonflies, common blue damselflies and red admiral and small white butterflies.

Male common blue butterfly.

At Tickners Heath on the edge of Dunsfold, at the southern end of the first canal section in Surrey to undergo complete restoration, there was a common blue and several speckled wood butterflies. Dave was pleasantly surprised to see a kingfisher and a grey heron. “Unfortunately, they both flew away before I was able to take a photo,” he said.

Male beautiful demoiselle damselfly.

At Gosden Aqueduct, between Shalford and Bramley, he photographed a male beautiful demoiselle damselfly.

Speckled wood butterfly.

At Hunt Nature Park in Shalford, alongside the Cranleigh Waters river, banded demoiselle damselflies were patrolling the water lilies and several speckled wood butterflies were seen.

To see more of Dave’s photos, visit the Wey & Arun Canal Trust’s website.

You can glimpse the flora and fauna along the canal route by following the Downs Link and Wey-South Path tracks and the towpaths on the restored and semi-restored sections. Great views can also be enjoyed from our trip boats.

Public excursions continue every Saturday and Sunday until October 29. Boats can also be chartered for parties and other special events until then. The Trust is also taking bookings for its Santa cruises in the lead up to Christmas.

See the website for details of public trips, charter excursions and the festive fun.

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