Some changes at Burrator from 1st September

In June I found out that my post as Community and Learning Officer at Burrator will end on 31 August. In light of the current economic climate, I should emphasise we were lucky to receive an additional 2.5 years of funding internally to continue the good work started through the Burrator Heritage Project, for which the original funding ended in December 2016.

Therefore from 1st September Sam LeBailly, our Dartmoor Countryside Warden, based at Burrator 3 days a week, will remain the main point of contact in relation to site maintenance and fishing, and he will also take over responsibility for the Discovery Centre and the management of volunteers.

“Despite this sad news I feel really heartened by our hard core volunteers who are really keen to remain involved and passionate to continue the good work that we have all started here at Burrator, which is a massive relief, thank you!”

I Love Water!

On more positive news, in August South West Lakes Trust received the news that they had been successful in securing a £95,000 grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and match funding from South West Water, to run a regional two-year ‘I Love Water’ project focusing on water sustainability.  This new project will provide educational and practical volunteering opportunities, to conserve and improve habitats for wildlife that live in and by the water, whilst also highlighting the importance of using water wisely and reducing water usage across the south west.

In July I had the opportunity to apply for the project officer post and was successful. As part of this 2 year project I will remain involved at Burrator 1 day a week either delivering practical conservation volunteer group days or educational days/events, and will spend the rest of my time helping the wardens set up and deliver volunteering and educational visits at 5 other sites throughout Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

“I will miss not being around Burrator full time, but I am really relieved that we can continue to offer a range of volunteering opportunities here, and continue educational visits and events through the new ‘I love water project’.” 

Hidden History around Burrator Reservoir (Free Event)

Without realising, we have all walked past things around Burrator Reservoir that have a fascinating hidden history.  Come for a walk around Burrator on Sunday 22 September, and volunteers will be on hand at key points around the reservoir to outline the fascinating history of several "hidden" things. For example, what is the link between King Henry VIII and Norsworthy Bridge, and why is a "C" carved on a boulder?

This event is part of the national Heritage Open Days programme

Volunteering Continues

From July 2013 until August 2019, volunteers have contributed a massive 8,500 volunteer days caring for the reservoir area, providing unique learning opportunities, and enhancing visitors’ experiences.  From the 1st September, the following opportunities will continue:

  • Site maintenance tasks – Tuesdays and Wednesdays
  • Practical conservation and archaeological preservation projects with the midweek and weekend Conservation Groups – see dates in the diary section below
  • Volunteer Visitor Guides will continue to run the Discovery Centre – Tuesdays to Thursdays, 10am-4pm

 Please contact Sam for more info: [email protected]

Learning Opportunities for all

If you are looking for a work experience placement, or would like to bring your class/group to Burrator, we can still deliver a wide range of topics, and in addition there will be a programme of water education too as part of the new project. Please get in touch with Emily if you would like more information: [email protected]

Public Events

After an amazing 4 years of evening talks, I am very sorry that I will have to put the talks programme on hold for the next few months due to my changing role; however, if anyone would be interested to help co-ordinate some new talks for 2020 then I will be happy to support you!

In terms of family events, after 6 years I held our last monthly Family Wildlife Watch session in July. However, we will continue the Family Activity Days in the school holidays, the next one being on water conservation in October half term. Please also keep an eye on the diary and Burrator Reservoir Facebook page for other event information too.

Event Dates for the Diary

Hidden History around Burrator Reservoir (Free Event)

Sunday 22 September - 10am-3pm

As part of the national Heritage Open Days programme

Without realising, we have all walked past things around Burrator Reservoir that have a fascinating hidden history, so here is a unique opportunity to learn more about them and discover how people power helped to shape the area.

On Sunday 22 September 2019, volunteers will be on hand at key points around the reservoir to outline the fascinating history of several "hidden" things. For example, what is the link between King Henry VIII and Norsworthy Bridge, and why is a "C" carved on a boulder? How did people power put an end to compulsory, statute labour - up to six days per year without pay - maintaining bridges and roads? How was tin worked at Bal mine, and how can the humps and bumps of the site be interpreted? Who used to live at Longstone Manor, and why was it abandoned?

Details of the event can be obtained from Burrator Discovery Centre, which is also a good place to start on the day.

School Holiday ‘Drop In’ Family Activity Days:

Tuesday 22 October: 10am-3pm

Our school holiday family activity days involve a wildlife or heritage themed trail, woodwork, environmental art and outdoor cooking in and around the Burrator Discovery Centre. £3 per child, £2 per adult (cash only please). Please wear outdoor clothing and footwear. No booking needed.

Other Seasonal Events:

Annual ‘Spooktacular’ Event at Burrator

Thursday 31 October: 6pm-8.30pm

Come and join us for some traditional Halloween activities plus a night walk, pumpkin carving and spooky stories. Costumes encouraged, but not compulsory. £4 per person. Please book your place in advance. For more information or to book your place please call 01822 855700, e-mail [email protected] or pop into Burrator Discovery Centre.

Christmas Garland Making

Saturday 21 December - 10am-4pm

Come along and make your own Christmas wreath using natural materials from Burrator. The event will be taking place at Burrator Discovery Centre. £7.00 per wreath (please bring cash as we don’t have online payment facilities). Support, materials and refreshments will be provided.

Please book your place in advance. 

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!'

  • Tuesday 3 Sept – 10am-3pm - SAM
  • Monday 9 Sept  – 10am-3pm – SAM
  • Friday 27 Sept – 10am—3pm – EMILY
  • Sunday 29 Sept – 10.30am-3.30pm - EMILY
  • Tuesday 1 Oct – 10am-3pm - SAM
  • Monday 7 Oct – 10am-3pm - SAM
  • Sunday 20 Oct – 10.30am-3.30pm - EMILY
  • Friday 25 Oct – 10am-3pm - EMILY

 If you don’t have your own transport please e-mail Emily at [email protected] or Sam at [email protected] and we can pick you up from Yelverton bus stop.

Discovery Centre Opening Times:  10.00am - 4.00pm

Weekdays: Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

  • September: Sat 7, Sun 22, Sun 29
  • October: Sat 5, Sat 19, Sat 26