A TRUST which works to protect the heritage of the iconic waterway which links Tiverton with Taunton is to be relaunched.

The new Friends of the Grand Western Canal organisation will come into existence next month with a launch event at the Tiverton Basin.

The organisation’s chairman, Robert Hodgson, said the aim of the group is to support the management of the Grand Western Canal Country Park in Devon.

He said: “The canal is a great resource for residents and visitors to our area.

“The sell-out at our AGM showed that many people care about the canal and are keen to support it.

“The Friends will be exploring ways of harnessing public support to supplement the dedicated work of all those who conserve and maintain this wonderful heritage.”

Mr Hodgson said the group will establish a network of wardens to act as eyes and ears for Country Park rangers, with more details at the launch event in April.

He said: “We would like people to bring along memories of the canal, past and present.

“Please bring any photos or artefacts which add to our knowledge of how people lived and worked on the Grand Western.

“The canal’s bicentenary in 2014 will be a landmark and the Friends will make sure the Grand Western continues to have a role for at least another 200 years.”

The launch event will run from noon until 4pm on Sunday, April 15.

For more details visit www.friendsgrandwestern canal.org.uk