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Little Parks Maypole Road entrance closed

The owner of Little Parks has replaced our padlock with one of his own as the Maypole Road access track is now so badly cut up by farm machinery that it is difficult for ordinary cars to pass. He says he will put a notice up redirecting members to our alternative Red Lodge entrance which he will ‘firm up’ as this track can also get very slippery during the winter months.

Directions:  Proceed (or return) to the Heybridge end of Maypole Road and turn right at the mini roundabout towards the bypass roundabout.  Take the second exit towards Langford.  Turn right at Langford church into Witham Road heading towards Witham and proceed over the bridge.  Take the next track on the right, signposted as a bridleway. Go down the track for about 100yds, past “Red Lodge” to a gate which is not locked. Open the gate (closing it after) and drive a short way down the track beyond, which will bring you to our car park from the other end.  Members are reminded to observe our 5 mph maximum speed limit when using this track.  Please do not try the track before the bridge as the gate at the end of the long lake is also locked.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

The owner has also talked to Natural England about his cormorant problem. He chased 6 off the lake the other early morning and is concerned that their numbers are increasing. As a result, he is going to install wire fish refuges, one in each lake. They float, apparently, so their presence should be obvious.

Little Parks – please use our alternative entrance again until further notice.

Two personal bests for young Mark

Dave Bennett wrote:  My son Mark has landed two personal bests including his biggest ever fish.  Mark’s a jibbering wreck because he seems to attract savage takes from fish recently and the Common was no excepion as the rod flew off the rest and towards the water before he quickly got to it.  In the end he had to land the fish because I was worried he would lose it such was the power of the fish after a tense 10 minute battle.

He also landed a PB Tench of around the pound mark (see gallery) and both fish were caught on squid.  Ooh and by the way I had a 2 3/4lb Tench on a huge piece of crabstick.

Accessibility of venues

A potential new member recently asked about ease of access from car to swim around our waters and I thought I would share my reply:

In terms of accessibility we can split our venues into 3 categories:

Very good – you can park in at least one swim: 

Howells (1 swim)
Little London (1 swim)
Little Park Main Lake (3 swims) 

Good - the nearest swim is a short walk (10 yards or less): 

Beckingham Hall (if parked by pump house)
Bog Grove
Brick Kiln Pond
Chelmer & Blackwater Canal (Heybridge Tesco stretch only)
Little Park Top Lake
New Hall
Railway Pond (but its too weedy for you to want to fish there)
Rook Hall 1
Slough House Farm
Totham Pit
Whitehouse Farm 

Poor – a lengthy walk to the first swim:

Heron Hall
Rook Hall 2 & 3
River Blackwater
The rest of the Chelmer & Blackwater Canal

Little Park scores highly on accessibility.

Eelsy does it

Dave Bennett wrote “After tales of me losing two big carp on prawns whilst Tench fishing this week, my son Mark decided he wanted to quivertip instead of float fishing.  He’s glad he did as he caught his first ever eel (and beautifully lip hooked as well) at around 1 and a half pounds.  That’s two we’ve had from Little Park in the last few weeks so it’s good to see Mr Anguilla is still around.

Mark with his first ever eel.

High water alerts

Please take the following into account if you are venturing out onto the soggy banks over the next week or so:

Flooded:  Little London

Higher than normal water levels:  Rook Hall (the middle and far lakes have joined together but some swims on all 3 lakes remain fishable), Railway Pond.

Brim full: Slough House Farm (outflow pipe cleared), Bog Grove, Little Park. 

Low Risk:  Heron Hall, Whitehouse Farm, Totham Pit, Beckingham Hall, Brick Kiln pond, Howells.

Closed:  All rivers and canals (just as well!). 

Please also remember that the access tracks at some of the venues that aren’t flooded such as Whitehouse Farm, Beckingham Hall and the alternative entrance to Little Park can get very slippery for ‘ordinary cars’ and only members with four wheel drive vehicles should attempt to access them. 

This must be the wettest drought since records began!

Rook Hall far lake is brim full and has joined up with the middle lake.

Please stick to the car parks

Members are reminded that under no circumstances can they drive beyond society car parks and around society waters.  Anyone caught doing so will be liable to receive a warning and lose their right to hold a night fishing permit.  The main venues where people are tempted to ‘drop off tackle in their swims’ or ‘fish from their vehicles’ are Slough House Farm, Rook Hall and Beckingham Hall but reports have also been received in the past from Howells and incredibly from Little Park, Bog Grove and New Hall!

Also if someone else drives around the lake to visit you or drop you off (member or not) then you are still responsible so please ask them not to do it!

Finally we are working on replacing the combination padlock at Little Park so until we do you might still have to use the alternative approved (by the landowner) entrance by Red Lodge.  It is very important that you close and lock all access gates, especially at Little Park and Rook Hall where new signage will soon be put up reminding members to do so and improve the security of these popular lakes.

Please keep access gates locked and stick to the car parks.

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