The following article was kindly written by Woodlore Field Staff member Keith Whitehead:
On my way home from a course, I was walking a stretch which takes in part of the Basingstoke canal’s towpath. One stretch, between two locks, had been drained for maintenance and the muddy bed was covered in what looked like mussels. I decided to take a closer look and removed my pack so that I could climb down the bank.
I found tens of empty freshwater mussel shells, some of which were of a considerable size. All of them had been scavenged by the time that I found them, but I was still amazed by the richness of the resource that I had been completely unaware of beforehand.
Whether eating a filter-feeding shellfish from a stretch of water such as the canal would be a wise thing or not, is another matter. I’m just glad that I know that they’re there and that my eyes have been opened a little further.