The Montgomery Canal (or Montgomeryshire Canal), known colloquially as "The Monty", is a partially restored canal in Powys, in eastern Wales, and in northwest Shropshire, in western England. Originally planned to run from Llanymynech to Newtown via Welshpool, the canal is today considered to run 33 miles (53 km) from the Llangollen Canal (at Frankton Junction) to Newtown.
Originally known as the Montgomeryshire Canal, after the former county of Montgomeryshire, along with the adjoining Llanymynech Branch of the Ellesmere Canal, the canal fell in to disuse following a breach in 1936, and was officially abandoned in 1944. With the revival of canal use in the late 20th century, the canal became known as the Montgomery Canal, which was considered to include the Llanymynech Branch of the Ellesmere Canal.
At present only 7 miles (11 km) of the northern section, from Frankton Junction to Gronwyn Wharf, a short stretch at Llanymynech, and a central section of the canal around Welshpool are navigable, though restoration work continues to expand this. The canal does not, and never did, go to the town of Montgomery.
In the years following the closure of the canal wildlife flourished. The whole of the Welsh section and parts of the English section (notably the section from the Aston Locks to Keeper's Bridge) were designated as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The notable wildlife includes Floating Water Plantain and Grass-wrack Pondweed.
In order to preserve the wildlife, nature reserves have been created at points along the canal. These include Rednal Basin, most of the Weston Branch and a specially constructed reserve alongside the Aston Locks. Some winding holes have been given over to nature, with the one adjacent to Crofts Mill Lift Bridge having had boat barriers installed, and the one adjacent to Park Mill Bridge allowed to be partially overgrown. There is a maximum of 1250 boats per year allowed passage on the navigable section in England (i.e. that part connected to the Llangollen Canal). In addition there are stricter speed restrictions than normally found on British canals, with speed limits of 2 and 3 mph for example on the navigable and connected part.