A charity is offering the chance for a special behind-the-scenes tour of a new £1.2 million nature reserve.

Visitors with a National Lottery ticket or scratchcard can join The Canal and River Trust at the Aston Locks, which are currently under construction on the banks of the Montgomery Canal, close to Queen’s Head, near Oswestry.

The visit will be part of a campaign to thank National Lottery players after the four-year £4m canal restoration project benefited from a £2.5m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

David Hennessey, project manager at the Canal and River Trust, said: “The Montgomery Canal is among the UK’s most picturesque canals, and is renowned for its outstanding natural beauty, wildlife and heritage.

“Thanks to the support of National Lottery players we have been able to realise our ambitions to help restore this beautiful canal.

“The behind-the-scenes tour at Aston Nature Reserves will be a great way for people to learn about this amazing resource on their doorstep, how it is being created and the benefits to wildlife.

“Don’t forget to bring walking boots or sturdy footwear as the site is likely to be a bit muddy in places.”

The canal on the Shropshire/Welsh border is currently only partly navigable and is a designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Rare aquatic plants, including Floating Water Plantain Luronium natans, will soon be given a secure environment by the creation of the three-hectare wildlife habitat within Aston Locks Nature Reserve.

The site, which is expected to be complete by winter 2018, will also be home to a range of wildlife including damselflies, dragonflies, otters, water voles and a range of bird species.

The visit next Wednesday, December 13, will include a chance to meet David and ecologist Sara Hill, between 10am and 1pm.

The tour is free but places are limited, so please book your place in advance.

Bookings can be made online at www.eventbrite.com and searching for ‘Aston Nature Reserves Guided Tour’.