- The Forth and Clyde Canal
- the canal today

The Scotland Guide
© David Williams


The canal has always been an attractive home to many species of plants and animals and this has been especially true since the canal`s closure. With few boats on the waterway, there is little scouring of the bank with only the slow movement of water from the reservoirs down to the sea locks, and this has allowed many plants to establish themselves by the banks. In particular, the bank opposite the towpath often has a very rich plant and animal diversity as it suffers little from human interference. The gradual silting up of the canal has helped many reeds and other aquatic plants establish themselves in the shallows and these give valuable shelter to other plant species as well as many varieties of water birds. The most common in the Glasgow area include mallard, coot, tufted duck and mute swans. Kestrels may also be spotted hovering over potential prey and the occasional cormorant can be seen diving for fish.

The canal is also a favourite haunt of many watersports enthusiasts and canoes are often used, especially in the basins. However, for those who want a less strenuous passage along the water, a number of organisations arrange boat trips. In addition, many anglers frequent the canal and the fish they seek include perch, eel, roach and pike. Joggers also use the towpath as it provides a rather safer and more pleasant route than the city`s busy streets.

This article is based on the guidebook "The Glasgow Guide".

Firhill basin was originally a timber basin but now it is used as a centre for watersports. The craft is the "Nolly Barge" named after the Nolly Brig, one of the bridges over the canal.

Over the last few years a tremendous amount of time, effort and money has been put into the canal. Many parts have been dredged, new lock gates installed, road bridges lifted and, of course, the new Falkirk Wheel at Falkirk provides a link with the Union Canal. Today, boats can again be taken along the complete length of canal, linking the east and west coasts of the country.
Previous Forth and Clyde Canal article:
Two hundred years of transportation
List of Forth and Clyde Canal articles:
Forth and Clyde Canal articles

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