ABOUT US and The GRAND WESTERN CANAL

The Friends of the Grand Western Canal exist to maximise everyone's enjoyment of one of South West England's greatest natural assets.  And there is plenty to enjoy!

The natural world of the Grand Western

Best known for its swan and kingfisher populations, the Grand Western Canal is home to a huge range of bird life and aquatic fauna. Otters are occasionally seen by quiet walkers or gentle paddlers.  The Friends fund-raising helps to interpret and develop these resources.

Special fund-raising for the Grand Western

The Friends group has access to funding organisations that are constitutionally unable to support Devon County Council.  Over the years we have helped fund a visitor centre, children's play area, interpretation boards and this nifty mobile work-boat for the Rangers.

Enjoying the Grand Western

Nothing beats 'mucking about in boats'! We have helped with many occasions like this 2013 Waterfest that have introduced new generations to the pleasure of aquatic exercise.

Wardens help keep the Grand Western ship-shape

The Grand Western Canal volunteer wardens walk the tow path regularly, collecting debris and cutting back stray vegetation to help keep the canal accessible to all.  They are advocates of the canal who work hard to ensure it can be appreciated by everyone.

Helping put on Grand Western events

Events on the Grand Western are popular with local residents and visitors alike.  The Friends group supports organisers of grand occasions, like this National Trailboat Festival held in 2014 as well as representing the canal at many local shows and fetes.

Conserving the Grand Western

Working with Inland Waterways Association Waterway Recovery Groups, our enthusiasts help to conserve and interpret both the existing canal infrastructure in Devon and the abandoned artefacts in Somerset.