3 September 2021

We hosted a group of Girlguiding members from Newton Abbot for an evening of pond dipping and bug-hotel building at Tottiford reservoir on Dartmoor.

1st Newton Abbot Rangers joined our Environment and Engagement team as part of the I Love Water project, which is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and South West Water to highlight the importance of using water wisely.

The group aged 14 to 18, who also took part in a virtual evening during lockdown and learnt about water conservation and water filtration, followed up their evening with a visit to the reservoir just outside Bovey Tracey.

During the evening, each girl used hand tools including saws and drills to make their own mini bug-hotel to take home and put in their gardens to provide a home and refuge for wildlife. They also surveyed the reservoir for invertebrate life, finding pond skaters, pond snails and a range of different larvae.

Ranger Leader Emma Bunce, 24, from Newton Abbot Rangers, said: “The Rangers had a fantastic couple of evenings learning all about where our water comes from and how it is filtered. South West Lakes Trust kept the girls captivated and engaged through a variety of fun activities including a water consumption quiz and homemade water filters!

“We were lucky enough to spend one of the evenings at Tottiford reservoir with Lucy from South West Lakes. The girls spent the evening making bug hotels and pond dipping, discovering some of the wildlife that inhabits our local area. I think it is great for our girls to have the opportunity to understand a process which a lot of us rarely think about. It provided them with the opportunity to explore their local area and develop a greater understanding of the world around them.”

South West Lakes’ Lucy Alford said: “All of the girls really enjoyed the pond dipping, increased their confidence using tools and hope to paint their bug hotels nice bright colours.

“For many of the girls who live in the Teignbridge and Torbay areas, the Kennick, Tottiford and Trenchford Reservoirs provide their homes with drinking water, so the visit provided a fantastic opportunity to see where their water comes from.”

If you would like to find out more about the I Love Water Project, or to book your group in, please email [email protected].

About us 

We believe engaging with the natural environment enables people to grow. Our reservoirs and lakes are home to many wonderful animals and boast important habitats and built historic sites. We pride ourselves on enabling people of all abilities to enjoy these special locations by providing access both on and off the water. It’s your outdoors – come and explore.