Byelaws, codes of conduct, policies and FAQs


Use of the Country Park is governed by the Grand Western Canal Country Park Byelaws which were most recently revised in 1999.

Codes of conduct

The Canal Ranger Service have put in place two codes of conduct to encourage the safe and considerate use of both the towpath and the Canal channel by all users. Both codes were developed in partnership with groups and individuals representing boating, angling and wildlife interests on the Canal and has been endorsed by the Canal’s Joint Advisory Committee.

Please note:

  • The Towpath Code of Conduct can also be found in our Visitor Information Guides and in all our notice boards along the towpath.
  • The Waterway Code of Conduct has been published as a leaflet which is available at the Canal Visitor Centre.

Canal Rangers Team and our Community Patrol Boat volunteers

The Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS)

Our Canal Rangers Team and our Community Patrol Boat volunteers who work on Grand Western Canal in Tiverton and its country park have been accredited with limited police powers under the Community Safety Accreditation Scheme (CSAS) and the Accredited Police Volunteer (APV) scheme respectively.

The rangers are part of the CSAS scheme, which has been running in Devon and Cornwall since 2005, whereas the volunteers are the first in Devon and Cornwall to be part of the APV scheme.

The powers accredited through both schemes will enable the volunteers and the rangers to deal with any low level anti-social behaviour which might occur while fostering a sense of security and reassurance for users and the community.

The powers have been targeted to address the needs on the canal and surrounding area and include being able to request the name and address of anyone acting in an anti-social manner. It is a formal offence if an individual does not comply with the requests from accredited volunteers.

Both the APV accredited volunteers and CSAS accredited rangers can be identified by the logo displayed on their uniform, they will also carry a police ID badge and card listing their powers.


Frequently asked questions

  • Who has priority on the towpath?

    A horse-drawn barge operates between the Canal Basin in Tiverton and Tiverton Road Bridge near Halberton. They have priority over all other canal users. Cyclists must dismount and walk under the canal’s bridges within this section as you cannot see what is coming the other way and stopping the horse could lead to the barge losing steering and crashing.

    At all other bridges, pedestrians have right of way and cyclist must take great care passing under the bridges. Dismounting and walking is advised and is also mandatory at the two bridges in Sampford Peverell.

  • Are dogs allowed at the Canal?

    Yes. Dogs are allowed at the Country Park, however:

    • Dogs must be kept under control at all times.
    • Please do not allow your dog to chase or worry wildlife, other dogs or people.
    • Dogs must be kept out of adjacent farmland at all times.
    • Always clear up after your dog. Dog mess disposal bins are located at all major towpath access points.
    • It is an offence to leave dog mess behind, with fines of up to £1000.
  • Can I swim in the Canal?

    No. Swimming is not allowed in the canal. Bathing and swimming are prohibited within the Country Park byelaws.

  • Can I magnet fish on the Canal?

    Yes. Magnet fishing is permitted, provided you do not disturb wildlife or other users, take away everything you bring in and report any significant finds or anything that is likely to be recently lost property to the Canal Ranger Service (Tel. 01884 254072 or email

  • Can I metal detect in the Country Park?

    At present, metal detecting is permitted within the publicly-accessible parts of the Country Park (i.e. the picnic sites and the verges beside the towpath, but not the offside banks), subject to the following conditions:

    • Excavation of the towpath surface is not permitted.
    • Detecting is not permitted in the Canal Basin picnic site in Tiverton between 1st April and 30th October to prevent damage to the grass in this busy focal point for visitors. [Previous detecting during dry conditions ‘pock-marked’ the grass and detracted from the amenity of this important tourist location.]
    • Significant finds must be reported to Devon County Council (via the Canal Ranger Service) and to the Devon Finds Officer and find locations must be accurately recorded.
    • Detectorists must adhere to the Treasure Act 1996 Code of Conduct and the Portable Antiquities Scheme Code of Conduct for Responsible Metal Detecting
    • Any finds remain the property of Devon County Council, unless otherwise agreed.

    It is possible that permission to detect within the Country Park may have to be withdrawn in the future, subject to the conditions of any Government-funded environmental grants that the Country Park receives; or due to any serious or persistent problems that may be caused by metal-detecting, and if so, this page will be updated.

  • Can I use my electric bike on the towpath?

    Yes. However, electric bikes must meet the following criteria to be allowed on the towpath:

    • Electrical assistance can only be provided to a maximum of 25km/h (15.5mph)
    • The motor used must be of no more than 250 watts (maximum continuous rated power)
    • The bikes pedals must be in motion for motor assistance to be provided.
  • Can I fly my drone in the Country Park?

    No, drone use is not permitted, unless by special licence from Devon County Council for a specific date and purpose.

    Devon County Council’s Public Rights of Way Drone Code states that drones cannot be used within 50 metres of a public right of way, e.g. the towpath.  There are also serious safety concerns relating to the effect of drone use on the horses that pull the barge (which could bolt if spooked by a drone).

  • Can I release a balloon or lantern at the Country Park?

    No. Devon County Council who owns the Grand Western Canal, has a policy against the release of balloons and lanterns at its events and from its land due to the risk these pose for wildfire, livestock and wildlife.

  • Do you have a General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) policy?

    Yes. We have a privacy notice for Grand Western Canal Country Park customers.

Privacy policy for Grand Western Canal Country Park customers.