In 1982 the rail transport of ball clay through East-the-Water finally ceased. Then, in 1987, the Taw/Torridge Country Park was established using the disused railway line between Barnstaple and Bideford, the line having been purchased from British Rail for £515,000. That was somewhat more than it cost Devon County Council to buy the remainder of the line to Meeth (at the grand total of £1). The section from Barnstaple to East-the-Water opened as a foot and cycle path in 1991, with the remainder forming the Tarka Country Park. By 1994 the whole had been re-branded as part of the Tarka Trail and in 1997 the foot and cycle path was extended to Meeth. As an amenity attraction the Tarka now contributes significantly to the local economy.