Fishing at Barnwell Country Park

The waters at Barnwell Country Park include two former gravel pit lakes and the Backwater, a stream-like side channel of the River Nene.

The park has around 5.9 hectares of willow fringed lakes and 1km of riverbank where fishing is permitted - North Lake (2.48 hectares) and Mill Lake (1.43 hectares). The lakes and backwater contain a natural head of coarse fish. No formal stocking has taken place.

The lakes can provide some excellent tench fishing and there are huge numbers of rudd and perch in both lakes. There are a small number of naturalised carp in the lakes up to high 20s (probably escapees from other fisheries in the Nene Valley). Other species include pike, roach, chub, bream and eels.

The park, with its accessibility and facilities, provides a good accessible venue for novices, with a reasonable stock of smaller fish. It is also a good venue for disabled anglers with three wheelchair-accessible swims on Mill Lake and two on North Lake, with a further 4 fishing platforms on North Lake.

Getting a ticket

Tickets must be purchased before you start fishing and are available at any time on a self-serve basis from the Rangers' office near the park entrance.

Car parking charges apply at all times – please ensure you purchase and display a valid ticket for the duration of your stay.

Day ticket prices

​Day ticket typePeriodPrice
Day only ticketDawn to dusk£3
​Concession day ticket for senior citizens and Blue Badge holdersDawn to dusk​£2
Under 16 years oldDawn to duskFree

​Season and winter ticket prices

A limited number of all season tickets (including car parking pass) are available providing 12 months of fishing on both lakes and the river for day and night fishing.

​Season ticket typePeriodPrice
Season ticket12 months (36 hour maximum stay)£75
Concession season ticket for senior citizens and Blue Badge holders12 months (36 hour maximum stay)​£65
​Winter ticket1 October to 31 March£50
Concession winter ticket1 October to 31 March​£40

Tackle and techniques

Standard carp fishing techniques such as boilie fishing and stalking can both be successful, although floater fishing is not so easy owing to the numerous and regularly fed duck population.

The river backwater provides opportunities for both trotting the glides and trundling a ledger rig into the holes for the wily chub.

  • ​fishing on the lakes is allowed all year round (there is no closed season)
  • the statutory closed season applies on the river from 15 March until 15 June inclusive
  • tickets must be purchased in advance
  • anglers must possess a valid Environment Agency rod licence
  • night fishing is restricted to season ticket holders only
  • anglers must carry their fishing ticket with them and show it to the Rangers on request
  • fishing is only permitted from pre-prepared fishing pegs: bank-side vegetation must not be cut or trampled to make new spots
  • fishing is not permitted in the wildlife refuge
  • non-disabled anglers are permitted to fish from the reserved/disabled platforms but must move if a disabled angler requests to use that swim
  • the rod limits are two rods for day ticket holders and three for season ticket holders
  • baited rods must not be left unattended at any time
  • all fish caught must be returned, alive, to the water where they were caught
  • barbless hooks must be used (semi barbless trebles for pike)
  • fixed lead carp rig systems are not allowed all leads must be able to break free should a fish become snagged - running efficient semi-fixed leads and safety bolt-rigs only
  • particle baits must be properly cooked or weakened until the core is soft
  • any unused bait must be removed from site and not thrown in the lake
  • only live baits caught on site up to a maximum of 4oz may be used - it is strictly forbidden to transfer live fish to and from different waters
  • landing nets and keep nets must not have knotted meshes or meshes of metallic material; or any holes in the mesh larger than 25mm internal circumference
  • fish over 4lbs must not be put in keep nets, as minimum handling equals maximum conservation
  • pre-dampened unhooking mats must be used for carp and pike and preferably for all fish over 1lb
  • the use of keep sacks and tubes is not permitted
  • bait boats are not permitted
  • all discarded line, litter and waste must be removed from your swim, even if it is not your own (litter includes cigarette butts) - anglers will be held responsible for any litter in their swim
  • to prevent harm to wildlife please inform the Rangers of any hung up tackle unavoidably left 
  • fishing equipment, especially bivvies must not be positioned so as to block paths - tents are not permitted
  • fires (including cooking stoves and portable barbecues) are not permitted
  • a valid car parking ticket or car park pass must be displayed for the duration of your stay

Anglers must abide by general park bylaws. Any infringement of these rules or other anti-social activities witnessed must be reported to the Rangers.

The council:

  • maintains the right to ban any fishing method or bait it deems to be causing harm to fish or wildlife
  • reserves the right to use any area of the lakes for its own purposes (such as pond dipping or conservation tasks) and to reserve the areas of bank
  • maintains the right to suspend all fishing and access to the park or certain areas of the park in extreme circumstances such as a risk to public safety

Further information

Please contact the Rangers office by:

Last updated 11 April 2023