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Weeks of effort pay off for Paul at Brick Kiln Pond

Paul Frost wrote: I’m a new member who passes the Brick Kiln Pond as I travel to and from work. I often stop off for a quick scan of the pond to see what’s about and sometimes fish on the way home for a couple of hours.  I usually see a couple of unusual pale colour long slender fish cruising on the surface and finally managed to land one on the 6th June.  I didn’t really recognise the species but Brian at the Halstead tackle shop identifies it as an Albino Grass Carp.  It weighed in at a healthy 13.5lb and certainly put a smile on my face after spending weeks trying to tempt it.

Brick Kiln Pond lock number

The combination lock on Brick Kiln Pond has now been changed to the new number as printed on the back of 2016-17 memberships and in the 2016 rulebook.

Mudwatch

I have been reminded (after a new member got stuck in the mud at New Hall) to resurrect this Mudwatch post:

Extreme caution (6) (unless you own a 4WD vehicle):

Brick Kiln Pond – the car park is churned up.  We will forgive you for parking outside the gate under these circumstances.
Little Park 1 & 2 – the track is good but in regular use by farm vehicles.  There is now a new key padlock on the white gates.  The grass car park can get very slippery.
New Hall – the access track is good but please do not drive beyond the water works entrance as the car park is extremely muddy and you will probably get stuck.
Slough House West – the car park in the farm yard is churned up and treacherous.
Whitehouse Farm – re-opened 1st Feb – Water level very high.  Pages Lane is firm but pot-holed (work in progress to repair).  The side track is muddy but the car park is OK if you can get that far.  Please do not try and drive beyond the car park as this is all churned up:

The banks at Whitehouse Farm are now slippery as well following extensive works to clear the undergrowth around the lake:

Good/Fair (11):

Beckingham Hall – fine if you park just inside the gate on the right but increasingly iffy the further up the slope you go.
Bog Grove – the track has now been repaired and the car park resurfaced so as long as you keep off the grassy bits all will be OK.  Bark chippings have been applied to some of the paths and swims but please proceed to your swim with extra caution as the sloping banks are made of clay and can be very slippery underfoot.
Heron Hall – firm track and car park but fairly tight for turning round.  The small layby opposite the gate is flooded again.
Little London – the access is firm but uphill, the car park has been resurfaced.  Turning round can be a bit tight.
Howells – the track is firm although the car park can get a bit churned up due to regular use.
Railway Pond – parking on the tarmac spur road.  Water level high.
River Blackwater (Station Road) – the entrance to the car park has been improved with hardcore and the car park is much firmer than it looks.  Under no circumstances park outside of the car park and especially not in front of the entrance to the horses field!
Rook Hall 1,2 & 3 – re-opened 1st Feb – solid car park just inside the gate on the right.  Please do not drive on the grass.  Water levels high.
Slough House Farm – the car park is sound but there is a large puddle just outside the gate.  Please do not drive up the side of the car park.  The padlock has been changed to a combination lock to hopefully make it easier to get in and out.
Totham Pit – well established hard standing, no problems here.

Kim and Jack at Brick Kiln

Jack Hare was fishing Brick Kiln Pond on Sunday when Kim the Head Bailiff turned up to check his membership. Kim then showed him how to catch the small Carp in the pond. Jack ended his session with about 5lbs of fish. Kim fished for a short time and to his surprise had two very small Tench.

Jack with his net of fish.

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.

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.

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