Image: Graving Dock, the Stover canal, Teigngrace.
Our daily walk today took my wife and I along the river in the Teign Valley, through a worryingly inquisitive and frisky heard of young cows, to the footpath which skirts the old Stover canal. The canal was opened in 1792 and closed in 1940. It runs for two miles from the town of Newton Abbot to the Teignmouth Estuary. Granite mined on Dartmoor at Haytor Ball Clay quarries was transported along a specially constructed tramway to the hamlet of Teigngrace. Dartmoor ponies and horses were used for pulling power and the tramway is still clearly seen today snaking down from the moor. The canal has suffered 80 years of neglect leaving it largely overgrown. The Stover Canal Society and The Stover Canal Trust are in the process of restoring it using local volunteers. The photograph taken today is of the recently restored Graving Dock, a lock and dry dock used for repair of the barges in days gone by.
We are today entering a process of regeneration. It has taken but a few weeks rather than 80 years to find we are tasked with repairing our damaged social structures and former way of life. The undergrowth has grown quickly to obliterate our once familiar conduits. An army of experts are busy mapping the way but it is for us to find, use and restore those pathways which were once so familiar.