1. Piskey Mischief at Burrator

“Loved finding fairy doors, so much fun thank you, it’s the best excuse to hang out around Burrator every school holiday!”

190 people attended our May Family Activity Day, themed around ‘Faeries & Piskies’, which included a fairy/pixie door trail, constructing doors out of wood, weaving or whittling wands, making biscuits over the fire, and of course, the highlight was having their photos taken in our amazing photo boards, painted by our volunteer Craig Wilson. Absolutely stunning!!!

2. Mini beast hunting in May

"Do you know what my 2 best days are? My two best days are my birthday and my day at Burrator"!

(Pupil aged 5 from Mount Kelly Prep School)

May has been a busy month with school visits, many returning for their annual visit: Mount Kelly Prep, Shiphay Learning Academy, St Andrews Primary School, plus a new school, Plympton St Maurice. This month, our themes have been learning about life cycles, habitats and hunting for mini beasts, along with wood work and marshmallow toasting for those visiting during Forest School Week.

3. Evening Taster Session for Teachers

On Wednesday 15 May, we hosted an evening taster session for teachers to give them the opportunity to visit Burrator Discovery Centre, explore our outdoor education area, try out some of our activities, and learn about lichens as part of their new project, ‘Building Resilience in South West Woodlands’ and the resources available. Thank you to all those teachers for giving up their evening to come and find out more.

4. Terrific Volunteers

This month, our volunteers have been very busy. Tasks have included: replacing the stile near Burrator Dam with a gate to improve accessibility to the inner footpath (please remember to close the gates behind you to prevent livestock being trapped in the inner footpath!), removing temporary deer fencing now the young trees are established, and carrying out a lot of fence repairs, especially near Norsworthy Bridge area.

5. Building Resilience in South West Woodlands

This is the title for the new project being delivered by Plantlife in partnership with a large number of organisations, including us, SWLT.  On Thursday 9 May, Alison delivered training on their new ‘Rapid Woodland Assessment’ tool kit, and on Thursday 16 May she delivered a sell-out talk, where we discovered the weird and wonderful biology of lichens and how to identify some of them.

6. Invasive Species Week 2019

This was our focus for our family wildlife watch session on Sunday 19 May, led by our Invasive Species Officer, Nicola Morris. We learnt about a number of invasive non-native species that are currently threatening our wildlife and habitats (terrestrial & water based), how to identify them, and key facts about each one. Activities included an alien trail, create your own invasive species, plus alien invader trumps, and lots more.

Event Dates for the Diary

Evening Talks:

Tuesday 30 July 2019 – 7.30pm-8.30pm – ‘Protecting our lakes from invasive non-native species’, by Nicola Norris, Invasive Species Officer, SWLT.

In Britain, invasive non-native species cause dramatic declines of some native species including the water vole and white-clawed crayfish. They are a particular threat in sensitive areas, such as lakes and can also interfere with recreational activities: for example, invasive aquatic plants block waterways, preventing anglers, boaters and paddlers from using them.  Join us to find out how we can help protect the wildlife and habitats which make our lakes so special against the threat of alien invasions! 

£4 per person (includes refreshments). Please book your place in advance.

Event for Everyone:

Summer Open Day and Fundraiser

Saturday 6 July – 12pm – 4pm at Burrator Discovery Centre

Come and take part in woodwork, cob oven pizza making, environmental art project, letterboxing, fly fishing games, cooking over the campfire and much more, plus tea & home-made cakes!  Suitable for all ages.  £3 per person.

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 an 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 30 June
  • Sunday 28 July

School Holiday Family Activity Days:  ‘Drop In’ between: 10:00am-3:00pm

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 bring cash as we don’t have online payment facilities). Please wear outdoor clothing and footwear. No booking needed.

  • Thursday 1 August
  • Tuesday 6 August
  • Wednesday 14 August
  • Thursday 22 August

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!’

  • Monday 10 June – 10am-3pm
  • Sunday 16 June – 10.30am-3.30pm
  • Tuesday 18 June – 10am-3pm
  • Friday 28 June – 10am-3pm
  • Tuesday 2 July – 10am-3pm
  • Monday 8 July – 10am-3pm
  • Sunday 14 July – 10.30am-3.30pm
  • Tuesday 16 July – 10am-3pm
  • Friday 26 July – 10am-3pm
  • Tuesday 30 July – 10am-3pm

Discovery Centre Opening Times:  10.00am – 4.00pm

Weekdays: Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

  • June: Sat 1, Sat 8, Sun 16, Sat 22 and Sun 30
  • July: Sat 6, Sun 14, Sat 20 and Sun 28