South West Lakes Trust

Reservoirs across the whole of the UK are visited by millions of people every year. These inland waters provide the perfect setting for a great day out – whether that’s for a stroll and a hot chocolate, a spot of bird-watching or something a little more adventurous like windsurfing or kayaking.

We take great pride in the care we provide to over 40 inland waters from the tip of Cornwall to West Somerset, ranging in size from 1 to 900 acres! Some sites provide unrivalled public access to watersports, angling, walking and cycling. Other more sensitive sites, such as Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Sites of Special Scientific Interest or Local Nature Reserves are managed by our Countryside team.


Our History

Established in April 2000, to manage, provide and promote public access, recreation, and conservation on and around inland waters.

Our Trustees

Our Trustees volunteer their time, experience and enthusiasm to support our Chief Executive and team of employees to achieve our strategic goals.

Our Team

Our team of employees are forward thinking, ambitious, committed and friendly. They take immense pride in supporting the work of South West Lakes Trust.


Our Partners

We wouldn’t achieve nearly so much as we do if we didn’t work in partnership with other organisations throughout the South West.

Our unique working relationship with South West Water ensures that the land surrounding the reservoirs in our care are managed sensitively and sustainability for two key reasons:

1: To improve the quality of water entering the reservoirs, and

2: To make sure these beautiful countryside locations are enjoyed by everyone, not just today but for future generations as well

Our Charitable Aims

South West Lakes Trust’s charitable objects, approved by the Charity Commission, are:

  •  the protection and conservation for the public benefit of the natural environment in areas within the South West of England as defined at the end of this Clause (“the Area of Benefit”);
  •  the provision in such parts of the Area of Benefit as is appropriate of facilities for recreation and other leisure time occupation in the interests of social welfare both of the public at large and of persons who have need by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disability, poverty or social and economic circumstances;
  •  the education of the public as to flora, fauna, ecology and the natural environment and the conservation of the same;
  •  the conservation and preservation for the public benefit of sites, objects and buildings of special archaeological and historic interest within the Area of Benefit;

Where the same shall be exclusively charitable

The ‘Area of Benefit’ shall mean inland waters and land within the vicinity of inland waters that are under the management control or ownership of the Charity from time to time within the counties of Devon and Cornwall and the District Council areas of West Somerset and West Dorset: Provided always for the avoidance of doubt that the Charity may carry out activities in other areas which are beneficial to its activities in the Area of Benefit and also activities reasonably adjacent to the boundaries so defined

Our Purpose

To protect special places for people and wildlife

The Burrator Historic and Natural Environment project has far exceeded all its targeted outputs, engaging more people with the countryside, often for the first time.