Grand Western Canal to host charity walk

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By tinap | Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 11:17

Families are being invited to the Grand Western Canal on Sunday 19 May to take part in the annual sponsored walk in aid of CLIC Sargent.

It is the 23rd year of the event in aid of CLIC Sargent, the UK's leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families.

The walk covers 10 miles of the Grand Western Canal towpath, from Tiverton Canal Basin to Burlescombe village hall. Free transport will be provided from Cullompton to the Tiverton start, as well as for the return from the finish at Burlescombe.

Registration at the start will be available at the new visitors' centre from 8.30am, with the walk starting at 09.30am.  There are drink stations along the way and refreshments at the end in the village hall.

Despite the breach of the Canal embankment at Halberton last November, almost all of the Canal is still open for people to use and enjoy. There is just one ¼ mile section between Swing Bridge and Rock Bridge which is closed until the embankment is repaired.

Until recently the diversion route around the breach was a mile long for cyclists and pedestrians and almost two miles for wheelchairs and mobility buggies. A new diversion route is now in place which is only half a mile along tracks and minor roads and only adds about 300 metres to the journey length. The diversion route is clearly indicated at either end and is way-marked in order to make it easy to follow.

Mark Baker, Grand Western Canal Manager, said: "We are very happy to host the annual CLIC Sargent sponsored walk once again. It's a great cause and we hope it will be another successful event. Although work on rebuilding the embankment will start in early June, the canal is very much open for business. Thanks to the generosity of an adjacent landowner who has permitted access along one of his farm tracks, we are really pleased to be able to provide a much shorter diversion route which only adds 300 metres and minimises disruption to towpath users."

Effi Mason, Chair of the Mid-Devon Branch of CLIC Sargent, will hand over the reins of organising the event after this year.

She said: "It is a beautiful, peaceful, flat and enjoyable walk. We have walkers from Cornwall, Plymouth, Taunton and often from much further afield. You can come with your family, with push chairs and children, with dogs and enjoy the fresh air.

"Having organised this event for the past 23 years, this will be my last year. It has been wonderful to see the walk become an established event in the Mid Devon calendar. If anybody feels that they might like to take it on I would be grateful and will give my full support and help."If you are interested in helping to raise money to save young lives by joining the walk you can obtain details and entry forms from the CLIC Sargent shop in Phoenix Lane, Tiverton. Alternatively telephone 01884 820987 or 01884 35777.




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