Kidsgrove Canal Nature Recovery Blog #1

The orange water of the canal at Kidsgrove can be seen behind grass and wildflowers.

Kidsgrove Canal Nature Recovery

Stoke-on-Trent-based artist Anna Francis is excited to begin a new research residency on the canalside at Kidsgrove. She looks forward to connecting with Kidsgrove people to find out what they love about the canal and how they use it now. Anna wants to work with people to think about how canals and greenways can give important access to nature for urban areas. She also aims to explore the relationship between humans and nature.

Anna has been making work that explores urban nature for more than a decade. She has led urban nature walks, created various floral trails and guides, and taken the lead on transforming a disused garden into a pocket park. She enjoys creating projects that connect people to nature.

During Kidsgrove Canal Nature Recovery, Anna will look at the biodiversity* of plants and creatures that live along its paths and map their local ecologies**. Anna wants to talk to groups and people who would like to consider what Nature Recovery looks and feels like in relation to the canal walkways at Kidsgrove. This would start with questions about the role of canals in supporting nature.

How to get involved

Anna will be hosting walks and workshops over the next 6 months that connect to the canal and its human and non-human neighbours.

Keep checking the Appetite website and social media channels for more information about the project as it progresses. And sign up to our newsletter to make sure you never miss an opportunity to get involved.

Do you have something you’d like to share with Anna about the canal, the plants or animals that live there? Get in touch at

Anna is Associate Professor of Fine Art and Social Practice at Staffordshire University, and a Director at AirSpace Gallery, and The Portland Inn Project. Find out more about Anna’s work on her web page.

*Biodiversity – the different types life (plant, animal, fungi) in the location or area. This project aims to map and track different species to gain an understanding of the variety and numbers.

**Ecologies – looks at the relations of living organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings. In this project, we are using ecology to describe the relationship between living things, including humans and other species.

Kidsgrove Canal Nature Recovery is a partnership project by Appetite and Canal & River Trust.

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Appetite are supported by Go Kidsgrove to deliver projects in Kidsgrove.