Byelaws and codes of conduct

Byelaws

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 to all  boaters and anglers when they buy their permits; and is displayed in several of our notice boards along the towpath.

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.

  • 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 fishing on the Canal?

    Yes. Magnet fishing is permitted, provided you 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 on 01884 254072 or email gwcanal@devon.gov.uk.

  • 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 over the Canal?

    No. 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, unless by special licence from Devon County Council for a specific date and purpose.

  • 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.

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    Privacy policy for Grand Western Canal Country Park customers.