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Angling in Epping Forest

A visitor angling in Epping Forest

Whether you are a first time fisherman or a seasoned angler, you can find peace and tranquility by the water's edge in Epping Forest. There are over 100 lakes and ponds in the Forest and you can fish in 24 of them, as long as you observe the fishing rules.

For a full list of the lakes and ponds in which fishing is permitted, please see the end of this page. You can find where they are on our Epping Forest Map (290KB).

Please note that fishing is not currently possible at Perch Pond or the Ornamental Waters in Wanstead Park. For more information, please see our News page. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Fishing rules

The following rules apply when fishing in Epping Forest:

  • No fishing in any ponds or streams during the closed season (15 March to 15 June inclusive)
  • You must have a rod licence to fish. You can buy these from a Post Office or contact the Environment Agency.
  • Children under 12 years do not need a licence.
  • You must not fish in any pond or lake where there is a sign prohibiting fishing. To find out which ponds and lakes in the Forest are usually open to anglers, please see the list below.
  • No fishing at night.
  • No fish, aquatic animals or plants may be introduced or removed from the lakes and ponds. This means you must put everything you catch back into the water.
  • Do not use keep nets or carp sacks.
  • Please handle fish carefully and with wet hands.
  • Use unhooking mats to unhook large fish.
  • Do not use live vertebrate animals or nuts as bait. Please limit your use of ground bait.
  • Do not use lures, spoons, floating baits, barbed hooks, braided lines or spinners.
  • A maximum of two rods may be used at once.
  • Please remove any broken line so that water fowl do not get tangled.
  • When fishing, you must observe Epping Forest byelaws.​​​​​​
Easy access fishing platform at Connaught Water

A visitor making use of our easy access fishing platforms

Access for all

There are easy access fishing platforms at Earl's Path Pond, Hollow Pond and Connaught Water which allow disabled or less mobile anglers to get right up to the water’s edge.

For more information on accessibility, please see our Access for All page.

Junior angling event

An Epping Forest Junior angling event​

Junior angling events

Every year, we organise junior angling training events that take place throughout the summer.

The cost is £5 per child, which helps towards the cost of the event.

These events need to be booked in advance by contacting The View, Tel 020 7332 1911. Parents and guardians need to stay and supervise children throughout the event. More information can be found on our events page.

Fish survey at Warren Pond

​Fish survey at Warren Pond

Managing the lakes and ponds

We manage the fish in our lakes and ponds in accordance with legislation and City of London policies, including our Fisheries Management Policy (35KB).

Every year, we carry out a census of fish species on the 10 designated core angling ponds. The remaining 32 ponds with a sustainable fish population are surveyed once every four years where possible.

These surveys allow us to not only evaluate the stock levels, but also to establish which species of fish are present and the health of the fish population.

If you would like any more information about how we manage the fish, lakes and ponds, please contact us at epping.forest@cityoflondon.gov.uk.

Get involved

Are you a keen angler or are you interested in habitat management? You can help by volunteering!

We are also looking for experienced anglers who would like to be volunteer wardens.

Fishing lakes and ponds in the Forest

You may fish in the following ponds and lakes during the open season, unless there is a sign prohibiting fishing.

  • Baldwin's Pond
  • Bell Common Pond South
  • Blackweir Pond
  • Bulrush Pond
  • Butler's Retreat Pond
  • Connaught Water
  • Earl's Path Pond
  • Goldings Hill Pond
  • Higham's Park Lake
  • Hollow Pond
  • Johnston's Pond
  • Knighton Lake
  • Leigh's Pond
  • Lower Forest Lake
  • Oak Hill South Pond
  • Ornamental Waters
  • Perch Pond
  • Pizzle Pit
  • South Potato Pond
  • Staples Pond
  • Theydon Bois Pond
  • Wake Valley Pond
  • Hawcock Pond
  • Warren Pond

You can find out more about our lakes and ponds on our wildlife pages or find where they are on our Epping Forest Map (290KB) or our where to go pages.

Published:
26 March 2012
Last Modified:
02 August 2017

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