Fishing at Essex Country Parks

Fishing is available at the following Essex Country Parks: Belhus Woods, Danbury, Great Notley, Thorndon and Weald.

A current Environment Agency rod license must be carried and produced on request along with an Essex Country Park fishing permit if you are 12-years-old and over. No licence means no fishing.

The Environment Agency conduct random night patrols with police for illegal fishing and day patrols for licence checks.

To purchase an Essex Country Parks fishing permit visit:

Rod Allowances

Season Ticket Holder: Three maximum (you must produce two
Environment Agency rod licences).

Day Ticket Holder: Two rods maximum.

Fishing times

Fishing is only permitted between 8.00am and half an hour before car park closing times (specified at each car park entrance).

Full prosecution and an indefinite ban from fishing at all Essex Country Parks for anyone caught fishing outside these hours.

We operate a closed season on the lakes at Belhus Woods, Great Notley, Thorndon and Weald Country Parks during May and June.

Please follow the Essex Country Parks fishing regulations.

  • All nets, slings and mats to be dipped before use
  • All specimen anglers to have a fish care kit and all hook holds or damage to be treated before returning fish
  • All anglers to have an unhooking mat for fish safety
  • All anglers to have an appropriate sized landing net
  • No carp or pike to be retained
  • No keepnets
  • No night fishing
  • All snapped/snagged or broken lines need to be reported so we can recover trailing lines/hooks
  • All fish to be returned to the water or rested in the water before photographing and returning
  • Any suspicious behaviour and/or rule breaking should be reported to visitor centre or park ranger
  • All swims to be completely clear of rubbish once you leave. This includes all rubbish (cigarette butts, sweet wrappers, tissues etc.). Anyone leaving rubbish in a swim will be banned
  • Bait boats allowed but anyone caught driving them into/under the snags will be banned
  • No rowing boats and/or inflatable boats
  • No drones
  • No fishing in areas that put fish safety at risk
  • No rods to be left unattended
  • Micro-barb or barbless hooks only
  • Respect other anglers and stick to your water boundaries when the lake is busy

Pike fishing:

  • Two out of three barbs to be crushed on all trebles
  • All runs to be struck immediately on the take as waiting increases the chance of deep hooking
  • No live baiting

Carp fishing:

  • Fluorescein based goo or glugs are banned on the entire complex. Anyone with these on them at any time will be asked to leave
  • All nuts, seeds, pulses to be treated properly before use. If unsure purchase ready prepared only