Annual Volunteers Celebration at Roadford Lake

On a wet and windy Saturday, volunteers from all over the South West Lakes Trust sites met at Roadford Lake for a celebration of the year’s activities. Burrator was well represented in all aspects of the day.

After a first class buffet lunch in the Burrator Room, a draw was made for a wide range of raffle prizes, and again Burrator was fortunate to be amongst the winners.

The Chairman of the South West Lakes Trust, Mr David Robertson, welcomed the volunteers and thanked them for their efforts over the past year.

Andy Parsons, Chief Executive of SWLT, then summarised the work taking place across the whole Trust area, again thanking the volunteers. He announced that he would be leaving the Trust in November after more than ten happy years.

James Platts spoke about SWLT involvement in the new National Citizenship Service.

Volunteers were then divided into two groups. One group were involved in a session led by Emily on water conservation, while the other group built homes for dormice under the guidance of Emma, Mark and Lucy, using materials produced by Dave and other Tuesday volunteers.

Both groups later gathered for a farewell cuppa and cakes before departing.

The volunteers really appreciated the day as a recognition of their efforts in so many spheres during the past year, and look forward to continuing to support SWLT in 2020.

Halloween Evening

It was a cold, dark Halloween night. The crisp smell of leaves was in the air. The wind whispered as it blew along the path and the only light visible was that of bobbing torches giving off a creepy glow…

This was our Halloween walk to the Discovery Centre where our party began.


Many families in scary costumes joined in activities, including pumpkin carving, apple bobbing, broomstick making and cake decorating. Everyone gathered around the campfire for hot soup or to toast a marshmallow or two before story time around the log burner in the centre. What a wonderful end to our evening.

DO YOU KNOW why we bob apples at Halloween?

(We were asked this question many times, so we thought we would find out!)

It appears that apple bobbing goes back at least a few hundred years, that it does appear to have originated in the British Isles (Ireland and Scotland in particular), and that it originally had something to do with fortune telling.

Family Activity Day 22 October 2019

“We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, thank you”

The autumn half-term saw over 200 people arrive at Burrator Discovery Centre for the latest in a series of Family Activity Days – this one having an “I love water” theme. 

With the weather being relatively kind, participants enjoyed the outdoor activities including a woodland trail with a water themed quiz, making a collage of Burrator Dam, painting the hydrological cycle on a paper plate, making a Cartesian diver, woodwork, cooking (soup and bread over the open fire) and learning about how much water we each use every day on our various domestic activities.

One of our regular visitors commented how amazed she was at the commitment and patience of the woodwork volunteers.  She has a shelf at home on which sits all of the models and items her children have made, and every time she look at them she thinks of the hours spent preparing the materials and the time given on the day.

“It was such a lovely day, your staff and volunteers are all so nice and helpful. The lads at the water diver were so good with the kids too. So patient. The highlight was bread and tomato soup, warmed us nicely.  Thank you for another great day.”

Aveton Gifford School Visit

On Wednesday 30th October, 49 8 – 11 year old pupils plus teachers from Aveton Gifford School visited Burrator. The visit was part of their learning on “the journey of water from the Moor to the sea” and they came here to find out about the water cycle. They were split into two groups, one going on a walk along the leat and the railway track to learn why this site was chosen to build a reservoir. The other group came to the centre to participate in various activities such as understanding how much and where we each use water, building their own water filters and understanding the water cycle. After lunch the groups swapped over.

Although we especially laid on wet weather so they could understand the “water cycle”, the day was a great success and the children seemed to enjoy their day out (much better than learning it the classroom).

Building homes for dormice

Signs of dormice were recently found at Wimbleball Reservoir, therefore we thought it would be a good opportunity for volunteers to make some dormice boxes at our annual volunteer celebration event, and then put them up at the Reservoir later this year. So, during half term, our Tuesday volunteers were busy making 15 dormouse box kits, with wood from Burrator in preparation for the event.

Attention anglers!

2019 has been a successful fishing season with lots of good fish caught. PLEASE NOTE Burrator will be open during November for Rainbow Trout fishing from the bank only. For more information of bag limits and prices please call 01566771930.

Please keep your eye on our Facebook page for news of restocking in the spring.

Event Dates for the Diary

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.

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 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
  • Tuesday 3 Dec – 10am-3pm - SAM
  • Monday 9 Dec – 10am-3pm - SAM
  • Sunday 15 Dec – 10.30am-3.30pm – EMILY
  • Friday 20 Dec – 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

  • November: Sat 9, Sun 24, Sat 30
  • December: Sat 7, Sun 15, Sat 21