Balancing the needs of our user groups at Burrator Reservoir



South West Lakes Trust is making some great improvements to improve visitor experience at Burrator Reservoir. The bank of Longstone peninsula will become a fishing only area and a section of the North Shore of the reservoir will become a large dog exercise area – where owners can let their dogs off the lead.

Burrator receives in the region of 300,000 visitors per year and balancing the needs of multiple user groups is one of the key areas that the Trust is keen to work on – alongside traffic congestion and the protection of our wonderful flora and fauna. After consultation with key partners and stakeholders, the Trust has developed a long term, sustainable plan to tackle some of the current issues.

Dog walkers want to exercise their dog whilst taking in the breath-taking scenery that Burrator has to offer, but at the moment they have to be kept on a lead at all times due to reservoir regulations stating that dogs must be kept out of the water at all times.

Creating a dog exercise area on the North Shore of the reservoir will enable dog owners to exercise their dog off the lead whilst enjoying a lakeside walk. The area has recently been fenced to protect thousands of newly planted trees and this has presented an opportunity to enhance the Burrator experience for dog walkers, who can let their dog off the lead without fear of encountering stock or getting into Plymouth’s drinking water supply for a paddle. The area will be clearly signed and enhanced with some informal timber dog agility obstacles. This area will still be open to the public without a dog, but it will be made clear that dogs may be present. There is no intention to ban dogs from other parts of the site but they will need to be kept on a lead.


The bank of Longstone peninsula will become a fishing area. This will provide a haven for anglers to enjoy their sport. It will also allow South West Lakes Trust to introduce the sport of fly fishing to the younger generation in a safe, secure environment. Public access will be maintained to the popular interior of Longstone peninsula and the public will still be able to admire the ruins of Longstone manor (Scheduled Ancient Monument) which has recently been improved through the Burrator Natural and Historic Environment Project.  The fishing only area will total 1.5 hectares within this 2,500 hectare site so there is still plenty of this wonderful landscape for the general public to enjoy. No Public Rights of Way will be affected.

The Trust looks forward to welcoming visitors during the summer months and staff will be available at the Discovery Centre to provide all the information needed for a great day out.