1. Last sign installed

The last sign was installed this month at Wimbleball. Over the last year, seven signs have been constructed by our volunteers using Burrator wood and installed at Roadford Lakeside, Roadford Watersports, Tamar, Siblyback and Stithians, with two for Wimbleball (café and activity centre). These signs reflect the beauty of wood and nature, in line with the values of the Trust. While the faces are flat, the sign backs follow the natural curve of the wood, which Mike poetically compared to the ripples in the reservoir waters. Thus, each sign is an individual, according to the strong character of the wood.  The collective experiences and skills of our volunteer team have come into play, for example, a tax officer, estates manager, building surveyor, mechanical engineer and podiatrist.  A fantastic sustainable story has evolved from the original idea of putting the wood grown at Burrator back around the sites.

2. Making the Invisible Visible

Thursday 21 February, 2pm – 5pm at Meavy Village Hall – organised by Dartmoor Society and Yelverton Local History Society. Booking essential.

Professor Bob Stone and his research team will be providing a Virtual Reality (VR) presentation based on a number of local high tech projects including developing a VR model of the reservoir bed at Burrator, the old Burrator and Sheepstor Halt, and the use of drones and special sensors to 3D-map the radiation from radon over the tor outcrops and quarries at Haytor.  There will also be the opportunity for attendees to experience the latest VR headsets and related technologies, and to see some of the aerial and underwater drones the team uses to support its research.

3. This winter, it’s all about willow

Our Midweek and Weekend volunteer practical groups have been busy over the winter months focusing on removing willow that’s been growing over our 7 year old deciduous trees planted in the top plantation above the leat, with help from Plymouth & Ivybridge Dove groups, Active for Life, Assertive Outreach Service, The Vine, Duke of Edinburgh participants, students from the University of Plymouth, and students from Longcause School, and Tavistock College.

4. Student Ranger Programme 2 Underway

On 22 January we started our second Student Ranger programme, a unique partnership project between Tavistock College, Devon and Cornwall Police and SWLT. This time our new recruits are 10 Year 7 students and have already completed their first practical conservation day with our volunteer group, and despite the never ending rain last Tuesday, they never stopped working!

5. Opportunity to learn about traditional rural skills

For our first talk for 2019 we were introduced to coppicing and green woodworking by Dave Curno & Peter Lanyon.  It provided us with a fascinating insight into how much work goes into making furniture, and had the chance to try using a draw knife and shave horse. Our next talks will cover Devonshire rural skills, Hydrology, Lichens and Ponds – see the diary for dates below.

6. Snow Time

Beautiful scenes of Burrator and Dartmoor in the snow this time last week, complete with our very own snowman by our warden Sam and work experience student Jody!

Event Dates for the Diary

Evening Talks:

  • Wednesday 27 February 2019 – 7.30pm-8.30pm – ‘Introduction to traditional Devonshire rural skills including hedgelaying, stone walling, cobblestoning and much more’ by Don Gaskins and Richard Finnemore from Devon Rural Skills Trust.  £4 per person (inc. refreshments). Please book your place in advance.
  • Thursday 21 March 2019 – 7.30pm-8.30pm – “Have you ever wondered how the height of a dam is decided and why the overflow spillway is a certain size?” An introduction to dams and reservoirs and some hydrological aspects of their design” by Les Hamill. £4 per person (inc. refreshments). Please book your place in advance.
  • Tuesday 30 April 2019 – 7.30pm-8.30pm – ‘Dartmoor is renowned for its beautiful and diverse lichens with names such as tree lungwort and string-of-sausages. Come and discover the weird and wonderful biology of lichens and learn how to identify some of those common in Dartmoor’s woodlands.’ by Alison Smith, Lead Community Scientist, Plantlife

Family Events:

Monthly Family Wildlife Watch Programme: 10.30am-12.30pm
Come and take part in a range of wildlife and heritage themed activities followed by hot chocolate and biscuits. We will meet at the Burrator Discovery Centre, unless alternative meeting point has been advertised. £3 per child, £2 per adult (please bring cash as we don’t have online payment facilities). Please wear outdoor clothing and footwear. No booking needed.

  • Sunday 24 February 
  • Sunday 31 March

School Holiday Family Activity Days
Each activity day will involve a themed nature trail, woodwork, environmental art and outdoor cooking in and around the Burrator Discovery Centre. £3 per child, £2 per adult. Please wear outdoor clothing and footwear. No booking needed.

  • Wednesday 20 February – ‘Drop In’ between: 10:00am-3:00pm

For more information or to book your place on any of the above events, please call 01822 855700, e-mail: [email protected] or pop into the Discovery Centre (PL20 6PE)

Practical Volunteering Days:

For all the days we meet at the Discovery Centre. Please wear old clothes and sturdy footwear, bring lunch and a drink and dress ready for ‘all the seasons in a day!’

  • Sunday 10 February – 10.30am-3.30pm
  • Tuesday 12 February – 10am-3pm
  • Friday 22 February – 10am-3pm
  • Tuesday 26 February – 10am-3pm
  • Monday 4 March – 10am-3pm
  • Sunday 10 March – 10.30am-3.30pm
  • Tuesday 12 March – 10am-3pm
  • Monday 18 March – 10am-3pm
  • Friday 29 March – 10am-3pm

Discovery Centre Opening Times:  10.00am – 4.00pm

Weekdays: Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

  • February: Sat 2, Sun 10, Sat 16, Sun 24
  • March: Sat 2, Sun 10, Sat 16, Sun 24, Sun 31