Photo Gallery:

I've tried to batch these under alphabetical group headings (eg. Canal; Wildlife; Willow; etc)......

Anderton Lift & the River Weaver:
Above: From the top of the Anderton Lift - and from the bottom.


Above: Moored on the Weaver at Northwich.
Above: Picturesque sluice gear control water levels.
Above: Saltersford Locks.
Above: Sad wreck of a hotel boat from decades before Willow  - seemingly didn't pay.
Above: Leaving the Weaver - as we go up they go down.

Llangollen Canal:


Above: Whitchurch Arm Lift Bridge
Above: Colemere


Above: Blakemere from the canal towpath
Above: Lyneal


Above: Moorings just east of Poachers Pocket Pub
Above: Nice stretch just west of Hampton Bank


Above: Through the railway arch at Chirk Aqueduct
Above: Chirk Tunnel

 Nick and Irene:
Above: Irene - fit old bird - still 'steps the locks'
Above: Few years ago on the South Staffs & Worcs


Above: "Photo credit" is to my old Dad with his Box Brownie - taken in 1958 - That's me aged 6yrs sitting on the balance beam (H&S ??). Mum and older sister bringing the 1950s hireboat into  New Martin locks on the Llangollen.
Above: Still messing about at locks nearly sixty years later - actually at the same lock.

Wildlife:

Above: Grey Heron
Above: KINGFISHER: This Photo by Deborah Lisseman (visiting friend of Willow guests at the time) - one of the best photos of a Kingfisher that I have seen.


Above: Otter: Just a library shot - but we've heard recent reports of otters at Colemere - so here's hoping for an actual 2016 sighting. Despite the photo sizing, otters are considerably larger, stronger, and more welcome than the mink, seen right. Above: Mink: Happily less commonly seen on the Llangollen canal than they used to be. Not an indiginous species, they do need to be eradicated on the canals. Only then can we hope to regain populations of water vole (as in 'ratty' of Wind in the Willows).

Above: WATER VOLE: This is the 'ratty' of 'Wind in the Willows' fame. The water vole has been very scarce on the canals, due to almost wholesale predation by mink. Happily seems to be cautiously coming back to some English/Welsh waters. We have personally seen them on the Ashby near Sutton Cheyney; on the Grand Union (Leics Sect) near to Kilworth; and on the Llangollen Canal near to Whitchurch. We didn't see any on the canals north of the border - perhaps the 'tree huggers' there need to agree to controlling the mink population first. Looks a bit like a rat, but its fur seems less sleek looking (almost tatty) and it has a much shorter tail. Above: STOATS & WEASELS: We have very occasionally seen these attractive little hunters from the boat. What's the difference? Well, a stoat's (upper photo) small but a weasel is a lot 'wee'er'. And the stoat always has a black tip to its tail and weasels don't. A weasel looks a bit like a long thin mouse in size. Stoats feed mainly on wild rabbits, whereas weasels go for smaller mammals. Both are highly efficient predators capable of killing prey species much larger than their own body weight.
Above: Barn Owl: Not very common, but we have spotted single birds at dusk flying about 10ft above the towpath at Colemere on the Llangollen and north of Middlewich on the T&M Above: Tawny Owl: This is the very common owl we hear regularly at night on the canals - when everythings otherwise silent. Part of the magic of night time close to nature and away from the madding crowd.
 Above:  LITTLE GREBE (or Dabchick): The books say this bird is quite common, but it is a shy little bird - for the observant sometimes seen on the Llangollen canal near Whixall. Little brown diving bird, with the 'look of a slender immature brown moorhen'.
 Above: Jay: A shy colourful member of the crow family seen in wooded areas of the canal system. It has a white flash on its back, blue wing bars, and a pinkish brown chest. Has a loud screeching cry of an alarm call, traditionally used by woodland poachers to warn of the gamekeepers approach. We tend to see them flying from tree to tree, crossing over the canal.