New interpretation boards at Tiverton’s Grand Western Canal Country Park

Posted on: 28 February 2019

Two new information panels have been installed at the Grand Western Canal Country Park to help point visitors to all the sights and activities s on offer at the award-winning attraction.

The two new panels are fixed to large limestone rocks and have replaced old panels which were worn and outdated. One is located in the car park and helps orientate visitors and with the use of a map and photos, shows some of the highlights of the canal basin and where to find them.

The other is located on the upper level beside the canal and an old limekiln, and briefly tells the story of the canal’s construction and the limestone trade which underpinned its operation.

The process of burning limestone in limekilns is explained and an artist’s impression of the canal basin in its heyday in the mid-1840s helps visitors to get a sense of how smoky and industrial the canal basin was back then.

Most of the funding for the new panels has come from Devon County Council’s Locality Budget, from which £1,120 was allocated.

Another improvement that visitors can enjoy now is a large new flower bed beside the car park entrance, filled with daffodils. Following a beautiful wildflower display in the new bed last summer, canal rangers and volunteers planted hundreds of daffodil bulbs during the autumn and they are now putting on a bright and cheery display. A wildflower mix will be sown once again, once the daffodils have gone over.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services said: “We are always looking at ways to further improve the visitor experience. Every year for the last few years we have seen ongoing improvements here in the canal basin. As well as the major capital projects there have been new seats and picnic benches, add new games and information on the touchscreen system in the visitor centre, and now these interpretation boards. As a result, the canal Basin is a really attractive and engaging place for people of all ages to visit. It also provides a great starting point for exploring the rest of our wonderful canal.”

Local County Councillor for Tiverton East Councillor Colin Slade said: “Devon

Councillor Colin Slade

County Council and the canal ranger service have worked hard to improve the visitor facilities and welcome at the canal’s main site in recent years.

“The new visitor centre, the new play park and the project to move a wall back and improve visibility for drivers leaving the car park, have all made the canal more welcoming for visitors of all ages. The canal brings a lot of tourist income into Mid Devon and so I’m pleased that these improvements have been made.”

Posted in: Community | Environment