...And we're off!

With Sam’s support (and Emily’s for a transitionary period}, volunteers are keen to continue the good work that is taking place at Burrator.

Lots of hard work has been carried out by our midweek and weekend volunteer groups to remove bracken and bramble along the permissive path, and from around the broadleaf saplings within the plantations.

Heritage ‘Doors Open’ Day

On Sunday 22 September 2019, as part of Heritage Open Days, there was an exhibition in the Discovery Centre of some of the hidden objects under the reservoir at Burrator. These included Sheepstor Bridge and Essworthy Farm that were flooded when the reservoir filled in 1898.

Visitors also had the opportunity to explore Wembley Walk – the remaining part of the old, flooded road to Sheepstor village which is behind the Centre.  Additionally, two pop-up information stands were located at Norsworthy Bridge and Longstone House so that SWLT volunteers could reveal their hidden history to passers-by. Around 100 people discovered something they might have walked past before without appreciating or even noticing!

A special thanks must go to our volunteer Les Hamill who coordinated the event and produced all of the information at the Centre, and also the leaflets for each location.

Fundraising continues

Over the last year we have been fine tuning our plans to have an easy access footpath along the lower lawn, to improve access for families with pushchairs, and for people using wheelchairs, especially during our Dame Hannah evening sessions. Over the last two years we have fundraised in a variety of ways: our BDC open days; selling hand-made tables; Clearbrook Village Hall committee have held two coffee mornings for us, and in September we received two cheques: £200 from the Royal Naval Engineers Quart Club via our volunteer Ian, and £100 from Plymouth Ramblers via our volunteer Sarah. Thank you ever so much. We submitted the planning application to DNPA in early September, so fingers crossed!

Best Charcoal Burn yet!

Stocks of charcoal are replenished after a successful burn earlier this month!

Our volunteers spent a morning emptying the kiln and filled a staggering 32 charcoal bags - the most we’ve ever produced in one kiln!

Chris and Glen were keen to explain why the resulting charcoal was so good this time….

The consensus was to get the lid in ‘ready’ position, get all three chimneys burning equally and then damp down. A perfect technique!

Site Maintenance Team

The Tuesday team have been busy this month with a range of repairs behind the Arboretum, including the removal of a fallen tree, subsequent fence repairs and a replacement gate at an adit. They also opened the culvert and dug out to clear some flooding from Narrator Brook around Deancombe Lane and rebuilt a wall in the car park.

Tavistock Rangers Programme gets under way

Last Friday we welcomed our third Tavistock Rangers group. On their first day, they joined the Friday volunteer team to help sort the charcoal.  This time we are joined by 10 Year 9 students from Tavistock College, and over the 10 weeks they will be learning about the history of Burrator and water supply, a range of outdoor skills including shelter building, outdoor cooking and navigation, as well as carrying out a range of practical conservation tasks, made possible by funding through the police.

Event Dates for the Diary

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 some traditional Halloween activities plus 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 please call 01822 855700, e-mail [email protected] or pop into Burrator Discovery Centre.

For more information or to book your place on any of the above events, please call 01822 855700, email [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 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
  • Tuesday 5 Nov – 10am-3pm - SAM
  • Monday 11 Nov – 10am-3pm - SAM
  • Sunday 24 Nov – 10.30am-3.30pm - EMILY
  • Friday 29 Nov – 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

  • October: Sat 5, Sat 19, Sat 26
  • November: Sat 9, Sun 24, Sat 30