North Tawton parish had a population of 1,859 in the 2011 census – large enough to function administratively as a Town Council. It takes its name from our eponymous river, and squats entirely within the Devon Character Area (DCA) known as High Taw Farmland. The Devon County Council (DCC) notes that it is,
centred on a watershed in the very heart of Devon at the junction of numerous character areas, this typical Devon farmed landscape comprises lush green pastoral farmland, visually dominated by the brooding mass of Dartmoor to the south. Rounded hills covered in hedged fields are separated by secretive valleys where rivers meander along their tree-lined courses. There is a strong perception of time-depth, with the landscape reflecting thousands of years of human history from the Neolithic to the present day. The landscape presents a rich tapestry of medieval features, including churches, villages, farms, field boundaries and narrow lanes with ancient wayside crosses.