Discover the
Dartmoor Story

Forged by nature, shaped by time and human spirit


Fernworthy is a great place to Discover the Dartmoor Story. It has an abundance of archaeology and is a haven for wildlife including some rare species.

As part of the Moor than meets the eye Landscape Partnership some footpaths and interpretation have been improved to help you find your way around more easily.

Around the lake are important wildlife habitats which include rhôs pasture and culm grassland. These wetland habitats are host to a number of very rare species such as the marsh fritillary butterfly and the bee hawk moth which as a result of careful management are thriving at Fernworthy. Birds such as snipe, heron and grebe can be seen year round and often make an appearance in front of the bird hides.

As well as rare wildlife, Fernworthy also boasts a rich abundance of archaeology such as burial cairns, hut circles and old farm buildings which are easily accessible from Potters Walk.

Fernworthy is a drinking water supply that feeds the areas of Torquay, Totnes and Brixham, The water from Fernworthy is gravity fed into Trenchford Reservoir near Hennock where it is then drawn off to be treated.

Did you know?

Legend has it that the quarrying of granite used to build the old Fernworthy Farm disturbed the earth gnomes who lived deep in the hillside. The gnomes are said to have delayed construction of the dam in 1938 by flooding the site.

More Dartmoor legends

Best things to see and do

  • Bird lovers can enjoy the two bird hides, located at the western end of the reservoir in the nature exclusion zone where numerous wader birds such as the Black Tailed Godwit can be seen at certain times of the year.
  • Fernworthy is a natural fishery for Brown trout. Find out more about fly fishing and permits
  • Discover the amazing archaeology around the reservoir and the wider forest. Buy a guide to Fernworthy from a National Park Visitor Centre to find out what can be seen
  • Fernworthy makes a great starting point for hikes across Dartmoor but always make sure you are well prepared for weather which can change quickly

Address: Fernworthy Reservoir, Chagford TQ13 8EZ

Fernworthy reservoir is managed by South West Lakes Trust. Visit their website to find out more details.

Discover more of the story

The Dartmoor Story Forged by nature; shaped by time and human hands.