Fontburn is a very popular trout fishery with rainbow and blue trout. The main areas of conservation interest are around the reservoir margins. An area of wetland and scrub to the north is now being grazed by Exmoor ponies to maintain the diversity of interest.
Fontburn is an important place for reptiles with common lizard, adder, slow worm and grass snake all recorded here. The reservoir was built in 1905, and the site is now managed in partnership with Northumbrian Water.