Work Due To Fix Grand Western Canal

There are fears that if we don't get some dry weather, the work to fix the breach caused by November's floods can't begin... Local businesses hope people will still visit this season.

25 businesses rely on the Grand Western Canal in Mid Devon, but there are fears that if a huge 30 metre wide hole in the canal isn't fixed soon, then trade could be down this season. 

To hear the full interview with our reporter Carrian Jones LISTEN HERE: Grand Western Canal

Back in November's floods, 38mm of rain fell within just a few hours, causing water levels in the canal to rise by 25 cm. 

The sheer volume of water caused a breach in the canal at Halberton, and a mile of water flooded into nearby fields, washing hundreds of fish along with it. 

The canal had to be dammed to stop any more water escaping, and now Devon County Council has agreed to spend £3million fixing the hole- which is the width of three double decker buses. 

It's hoped work will be able to start in April, as long as we have some continued dry weather. A mile long section at Halberton is closed, from Greenway Bridge to Rock Bridge but the rest of the canal remains open. 

Canal at Halberton


Phillip Brind runs the Tiverton Canal Company, which is one of only three horse drawn barges in England and Wales. The concern that local businesses have this year, is that visitors wont come, as they think the whole canal is empty. 

                                                                                               halbeton canal

He says "if the canal was to disappear, we would have lost the Tiverton section of the canal and those communities would have been broken"