Against the Odds: Canalside

Plant communities in a lock gate on the Kennet and Avon canal at Devizes

During the summer NAH started a new volunteer role with the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust who provide narrowboat trips from their headquarters in Devizes. When our niece and nephew came to stay, we took them to see what he gets up to these days.

I was surprised to find a whole plant community thriving in one of the lock gates we went through. These plants are likely to get a thorough soaking many times a day when boats go through the lock as the water level rises then falls.

The stones lining the top of the lock have thriving mini communities too.

Plant communities along the top of a lock on the Kennet and Avon canal at Devizes


  1. Lovely to see what has made a home by the canal. We go down to the canal at Saul Junction (near Sharpness) sometimes, there's always something interesting happening there.

    1. As canal buffs I'm amazed we haven't found our way over to Sharpness yet.

  2. Fascinating, and I'm sure it's something that will interest Loose and Leafy Lucy. Flighty xx

    1. Thanks Flighty, I think you're right re Lucy :)

  3. It is amazing how plants can get a foothold almost anywhere!
    Have a great week-end!

  4. VP, what a nice find! My eye is always drawn to plants growing in stone cracks – they always look that they are meant to be. I agree in this case the plants have soakings to contend with, but just maybe that is what has allowed them to flourish here :-)

    1. Hi Shirley - it fascinates me how plants thrive on the slightest of footholds. That's what this series is all about - plants have a very strong survival mechanism.

  5. Beautiful! They look like happy thriving plants :)


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