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Climb the tower at Roadford Dam

image depicting Roadford
South West Water is once again giving its customers the chance to discover the hidden secrets of the region's largest reservoir.

The company is offering free guided tours of Roadford Dam near Broadwoodwidger, Devon, on Friday 13 September as part of this year's national Heritage Open Days programme.

Roadford Lake was opened in 1990 as the centre-piece of a programme to almost double the region's water storage capacity following the drought of 1976 which saw the last use of standpipes in the South West.

After walking through the dam, which impounds water from the River Wolf to form a reservoir with an enormous net storage of 34,500 megalitres, visitors will scale 170 steps to the top of the valve tower. The steep climb is not for the faint-hearted and is physically demanding but offers a unique opportunity to view this spectacular lake.

South West Water's Head of Drinking Water Services, Guy Doble, said: "Roadford has played an important role in supplying clean water to large parts of the region for more than 20 years. We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to see for themselves how we manage this key water source."

Roadford is situated on the edge of Dartmoor between Okehampton and Launceston and construction was completed in 1990. It supplies water to North Devon, South West Devon, Plymouth and North East Cornwall.

After the tour of the dam, visitors can enjoy 20 per cent off refreshments at the Lakeside café across the road and explore the Visitor Centre managed by environmental and recreational charity South West Lakes Trust.

Places on the free tours are limited and must be pre-booked. Tours run between 10am and 4pm and last for an hour.

Notes to editors

  • This is a physically demanding tour and is not suitable for people with heart conditions or vertigo, or women in the late stages of pregnancy. We would recommend visitors wear appropriate footwear with a good grip for the 170-step ascent. Fashion shoes, sandals and other 'open' shoes are not suitable
  • South West Water confirmed early in May that 2013 would be the 17th consecutive summer without any form of water restrictions in its service area. Current storage stands at 85.2% heading into what is traditionally the peak demand period of the year.
  • In 2014 South West Water will submit its business plan for the years ahead to the UK water industry regulator Ofwat. We are inviting customers to find out more and tell us what they think our priorities should be for 2015-20 at www.southwestwater.co.uk/waterfuture
  • South West Lakes Trust is the region's largest combined environmental and recreational charity. Its 50 inland water sites, encompassing 5,000 hectares of land and water spread across Devon, Cornwall and West Somerset, attract in the region of 2m visits annually. It is listed as being in the top 3,000 of the country's 150,000 charities. It manages large tracts of moorland and significant areas of woodland, with Forest Stewardship Council accreditation.

Published: 18 July 2013

For further information please contact:

Press Office
South West Water

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