Shorne Country Park (fishing lakes) Shorne, Kent
Shorne Country Park has two lakes, a modern Visitor Centre, where there are toilet facilities and a cafe for hot and cold food, and drinks. Some tackle can be purchased at the visitor centre such as landing nets and un-hooking mats.
(For full details of the Country Park see ‘Shorne Country Park – General Park Details’ at the end of this section.)
Steps Lake… is the first lake you see as you approach from the car park. This is approximately 61m long and 33m wide. (0.5 acres) There are 14 pegs with reeds either side. Pegs 10 and 11 have a large lily pad as an added feature. There is a bed of reeds approximately 2m(6.5ft) wide running down the middle of the lake. These reeds hide a secret – a sunken conveyor belt, from when it was a working quarry. Steps Lake varies in depth from 1m to approximately 2.5m (8.5ft) in the middle with pegs 1 – 7 being slightly shallower than the opposite side. Peg 7 and 8 on the lake are designed for disabled anglers. All swims fish well, but Pegs 1, 6, 7, 10, 11 and 14 tend to be the most popular (authors opinion)
Long Lake… is to the left of Steps Lake and has 17 Pegs. Long lake is approximately 130m long and 20m wide (0.65 acres) There is one smallish island to fish to, which can be reached comfortably from pegs 7 and 10. Long Lake contains many features such as lily pads and rushes, and varies in depth from as little as 0.5m to over 3m in the middle. Careful plumbing is therefore necessary to find the shelves and undulations, if you are to maximise the potential of your swim. Hot pegs are 1, 7, 10, 13, 15 and 16. A lot of anglers like the end peg 17 for fishing floating bread. Don’t be put off by the floating weed in this peg as the carp like to hide underneath it. Peg 8 is designed for disabled anglers. Peg 13 is known as the “three penny (pronounced thrupp-nee) bit” swim and pegs 14 – 17 are “up the cut”. [The three pence was a denomination of currency used by various jurisdictions in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, until decimalisation of the pound sterling and Irish pound in 1971.]
Both Lakes are well stocked with Tench, Roach, Rudd, Goldfish, Perch, Crucians, Mirror Carp, Common Carp (Wildies), Fantails and many hybrids of the aforementioned.
Use the right tactics and the fishing on both lakes can be very rewarding. The carp when caught put up an incredible fight and many a rod and reel or pole top has been lost to the deep (the author has pictures to prove this point!).
Want to Fish? Entry to the park itself is free , but car parking charges apply of £2.00 on weekdays and £2.50 at weekends and bank holidays. Alternatively, an annual parking permit can be obtained at the shop. If you plan on coming to the park to fish, walk the dog or take the children to the play area this will be the cheaper option.
The lakes are run on either a membership basis or a day ticket available on the bank from the Bailiff. The Day Ticket price is £6 for adults [2 rods] and £3 for juniors [1 rod only]. The lakes are open all year round. Fishing is permitted from dawn to dusk. NO NIGHT FISHING ALLOWED AT ANY TIME.
Like any other fishery certain rules apply as below. These are also posted on the Notice Board close to Peg 8 on Steps Lake and are reproduced on the reverse of Day-Tickets.
- Two rods per angler allowed, which must not be left unattended at any time.
- Max. line strength of 12lb permitted.
- One barbless hook per rod and line only.
- A min. 35cm Landing net must be used at all times, ONE per swim.
- No night fishing, dawn to dusk only!
- No fires or barbecues.
- Rules for use of baits allowed, see notice boards at Lakeside.
- An unhooking mat should be available for use at all times.
- All fish to be returned to the water, dead or alive.
- No live baiting or treble hooks.
- No litter, take it home!
- No bait in cans or tins of any type, i.e. sweetcorn, luncheon meat, etc. Baits to be in plastic containers or bags.
- No keep nets or sacks of any description.
- Fishing from numbered swims only.
- Abusive behaviour to Bailiffs or other anglers will not be tolerated under any circumstances and you may be asked to leave.
Anybody fishing over the age of 12 must have a current rod licence (obtainable from any Post Office or online).
The best way to catch the smaller fish i.e. Roach, Rudd, Crucians and small Tench is with light gear and by that I mean 2lb line and size 16/18 hook (which must be barbless). You should fish near the surface (6″- 12″) for the Rudd and Roach, or hard on the bottom for the Crucians and Tench . For the larger fish i.e. Carp and Tench, you need to step up your gear to say 8lb with up to size 10 hook. There is a line strength limit of 12lb. Many, youngsters in particular, fish using tackle which is much too heavy (line in excess of 15lbs breaking strain) or too large a bait and wonder why they catch very little. Popular baits alongside maggots, luncheon meat and sweet corn tend to be floating bread in the summer for the Carp, or prawns for the Tench. Cockles and mussels can also work well on the day. (Note from Author: I personally prefer to use homemade paste made from ground down pellets, fished over a bed of 2/3mm pellets. This works very well.).
In the winter, the water goes very clear and the fishing becomes a lot harder, but you can still catch if you scale down your tackle accordingly.
SHORNE COUNTRY PARK – General Park Details
Shorne Wood Country Park covers some 288 acres and is in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The area has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its wildlife value. Shorne Wood Country Park is signposted off the A2 between Gravesend and Rochester at the Cobham/Shorne/Higham junction.
The Park lies on what was originally Cobham Hall Estate, the main entrance and carriage rides of which ran through the park. From the 1920s to the early 1970s clay extraction (for cement) took place throughout an area of the park. In 1987 the park was opened to the public, and is owned and managed by Kent County Council. Shorne Wood consists mainly of ancient woodland with some heathland, and the old claypit, which is returning naturally to woodland, with meadows and wetlands. The Great Storm of 1987 affected large areas of the park with thousands of trees now replanted.
The ponds and lakes are rich with reeds, rush and willow. A sensory garden has been developed for everyone to enjoy. The planting and tactile sculptures provide colour, scent, texture, shape and sound. Nearby, the arboretum contains almost every species of native tree found in Kent. There are many rare and protected species at Shorne Wood, and it is particularly well known for its dragonflies, which can be seen throughout the summer and breed in the many attractive ponds.
- Opening times: Open daily 9am ’til dusk except Christmas day.
- Travel information: regular services from London and Kent from Meopham, Sole Street, Gravesend and Higham. All stations are served by the 416/417 Arriva bus service and taxis.
- Facilities: A number of facilities are available to less mobile visitors including an easy access trail featured in our Walks For All Pack, sensory gardens, electro-scooters, etc. Visitors Centre and refreshments. Exhibition and information. Play Area.
- OS map: Landranger 178, Explorer 163.
- OS grid reference: TQ687703.
- Website: www.kent.gov.uk/countrysideaccess
- Email: email@example.com
- Phone: 01474 823800
- Address: Brewers Road, Shorne, Kent, DA12 3HX
The cafe is open from 10am to 5 pm in the summer and from 11am to 4pm in the winter. Free entry to the park, but there is a car park fee of £2.00 on weekdays and £2.50 at weekends and bank holidays. Alternatively, an annual parking permit can be obtained at the shop.
NOTE: Information on Shorne Country Park last updated June 2012