15 September 2021

It has been wonderful to welcome back volunteers and visitors at Burrator this summer after the restrictions of the last 18 months.

We’ve finally been able to return to large group volunteering after nearly a year of a drastically reduced volunteering programme.

One of our volunteers’ first projects was to complete the easy access footpath. It has always been our dream to create an easy access footpath across our lower lawn to improve access for those attending in wheelchairs and pushchairs, as the lawn gets particularly boggy, especially in wet weather.

We spent several years fundraising for it, via delivery of mini group programmes, wreath making events, selling of handmade tables, volunteers hosting coffee mornings at Clearbrook Village Hall, and kind donations from individuals, Plymouth Ramblers and the Naval Quarts Engineers.

This summer the project was completed. R&M Landscapes used their machinery to carry out the digging of the path and drainage channels, and the rest of the work was completed by our team of volunteers. Thank you to everyone for making this fabulous resource possible!

“It was possibly one of the best days with all the playtime pensioners mucking in and just getting on with it. Stone drains, pipe, underlay and path surface all laid which considering the hot weather was good. I never thought my CV would include 64 tonnes of stone, loaded, moved and laid in a day.” Mike

We recently received the good news that we have been successful in securing funding for our new play space at Roadford Lake. In the meantime, to provide temporary play at the lake the Burrator team created temporary play pieces in the empty space. Our Tuesday team relished this opportunity and within a month had created a natural play area using timber from Burrator wood. The play pieces have been very popular and will remain in place until work on the new space commences early next year.

We’ve also been able to welcome back school groups, complete our fourth Tavistock Student Ranger Programme and deliver two family activity days.

13 young people from Year 7 at Tavistock College attended a five-week programme, learning about water supply, developing map reading skills, learning about survival skills in particular water filtration, and carrying out practical conservation work, in this case, bracken management at Roundy Farm alongside our Midweek Volunteer Team. On their last day they received their ‘Discovery’ John Muir Award. Thank you to Ian, Andy, the pupils from Tavistock College and Jules from Devon & Cornwall Police for making this possible.

Future Burrator Events
Future family activity days will be advertised on our Burrator Reservoir Facebook page and our website www.swlakestrust.org.uk

Burrator Discovery Centre Opening Dates and Times
• Tuesdays – 10am-3pm
• Saturdays – 10am-3pm
• Sundays – 10am-3pm

Practical Conservation Volunteering
If you would like to join us for conservation based tasks, please contact our Environment and Engagement Ranger, Nigel Tomkinson: [email protected]

Useful Burrator E-mail Addresses
• Site, Burrator Discovery Centre and site maintenance volunteering: [email protected]
• Volunteering as a Visitor Guide: [email protected]
• Conservation volunteering: [email protected]
• Educational visit enquiries: [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.