The Grand Canal is an important aspect of the landscape of South Dublin and provides a unique eco system in an urban area. It flows between Clondalkin and Lucan and through the areas of Clonburris, Kilmahudric, Grange, Kishogue and Cappagh linking togeather the natural and the built environment.
It was originally built for transport of people and cargo but after the railways were built its usage fell into decline. Cargo traffic ended on it in 1959.
A bog/ marsh ecosystem has developed around the canal, particularly around Capagh. There are also systems of hedgerows and ditches around which many varieties of flora and fauna have developed as well as encouraging all kinds of wildlife into the area.
Flora and Fauna
Flowers such as yellow water lillies, water- forget- me- nots, yellow iris, corn poppies, primroses, cowslips and orchids can be seen along the canal. The Marsh Marigold also found here is a particularly important flower in the area as it is nationally in decline. Hedgerows with hawthorn, blackberry, holly and sloe bushes can be found along the banks and these also support the wildlife of the area.
Yellow Water Lilly
Yellow Water Lilly(Nuphar Lutea)Courtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
Yellow Water Lilly - Courtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
Yellow Iris (Iris pseudacorus)Courtesy of C.P.L.N Area Partnership
Yellow Iris - Courtesy of C.P.L.N Area Partnership
Fruit of the Hawthorn
Fruit of the Hawthorn on the banks of the Grand CanalCourtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
Fruit of the Hawthorn - Courtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
Brambles and Blackberries
Bramble/Blackberry Rubus FruticosusCourtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
Brambles and Blackberries - Courtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
Marsh Marigold (Caltha Palustris)Courtesy of C.P.L.N Area Partnership
Marsh Marigold - Courtesy of C.P.L.N Area Partnership
Some examples of wildlife around this part of the canal are otters, badgers, stoats and foxes as well of five species of bat
The Grand canal is an important amenity for the area and fishing and bird watching are common along it's banks. Fish that are common here include bream, roach, rudd, pike, pearch, tench, carp and eels.
Birds of prey such as the long eared owl, the brown owl, the kestrel and peregrine falcon and wetland birds like the moorhen, the coot, the grey heron and the mute swan have been sighted. There are also many insects such as the ruddy darter pictured below and different types of butterflies like the common blue and the green veined white butterfly also pictured below
Pictures and information on the Grand Canal are courtesy of the C.P.L.N. Area Partnership Group who produced the book "Take a Walk on the Wild Side the Grand Canal Way"
Swans on the Grand Canal
Mute Swans on the Grand Canal, the largest wild bird in Ireland. Sighted in the Cappagh Wetlands North and South of the RailwayCourtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
Swans on the Grand Canal - Courtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
Sparrow Hawk sighted on grand canal
Sparrow Hawk sighted on the Grand CanalCourtesy of C.P.L.N Area Partnership
Sparrow Hawk sighted on grand canal - Courtesy of C.P.L.N Area Partnership
Green Veined White Butterfly by the banks of the Grand Canal
Green Veined White ButterflyCourtesy of C.P.L.N Area Partnership
Green Veined White Butterfly by the banks of the Grand Canal - Courtesy of C.P.L.N Area Partnership
Common Blus Butterfly (Polyomattus Icarus)Courtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
Common Blue - Courtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
Ruddy Darter, pictured by the grand canalCourtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
Ruddy Darter - Courtesy of C.P.L.N. Area Partnership
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