Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve

Maiden Erlegh Park




The Park is some twelve hectares in extent and is classified as a Local Nature Reserve. it is managed on the Town Council’s behalf by its Park Ranger Service with the help of volunteer groups.  The Head Bailiff and seasonally appointed Water Bailiffs also assist in the care of the Reserve and police the fishing areas.

Earley Town Council supports the work of the Earley Environmental Group, and more details can be found on their website if you would like more information or like to join the Group.  Thrive, a local charity are also supported by the Town Council. for more information on the projects they undertake, seminars, hall hire please click on the link:  (Earley Town Council does not take any responsibility for any content on external links)


Earley Town Council does have a bye-law in place which politely requests residents to keep their dogs on leads around the Reserve, both for the benefit of the wildlife and other users of the areas.  Please ensure if you are walking your dog you respect this ruling and keep your dog on a lead.  Thank you


Maiden Erlegh lake in summer
Maiden Erlegh lake in summer


For more information and pictures of the Nature Reserve visit


The Park is in several “parcels” which are described on the several Interpretation Boards around the site: The Lake Area, between Instow Road and Lakeside is managed under the Reservoirs Act and is inspected by a Consultant Engineer once or twice each year. Records have to be kept on water levels, condition of the Weir etc. aspects which are inspected by the Engineer.

The Park Rangers in conjunction with the Earley Volunteer Group have made a Tern Nesting Platform which was launched and put into place behind the Island on the 28th January 2016.  It is hoped it will attract nesting Terns, rather than just seeing the birds coming into feed.



Launch of the Tern Nesting Platform




Sunset over Maiden Erlegh lake
Sunset over Maiden Erlegh lake


The Town Council has tried hard to keep a balance between the conservation aspects of the Lake and its use for angling.  Annual Fishing Permits can be issued on a first come, first served basis.  The Town Council also has a number of day permits which can be purchased for fishing Mondays – Fridays only.


To apply for a permit you will need to bring in or send Passport Sized Photograph, Rod Licence for Adults and Juniors over 12, Fee, and a Large Stamped Address if you would like your permit to be posted. A Birth Certificate is required for Junior Licenses. Permits can be obtained from the “Help shop” at the Council Offices, Monday – Fridays only.  (See Helpshop page for opening hours)


All Junior Applicants must attend a training session at the Council Offices where they are given tuition in fishing, by our Head Bailiff, tony Morris.


Fishing competitions are organised annually.


Fishing Prices 2019


 Annual Earley Resident Non Earley Resident




£29.00 £42.00
Juniors, over 60’s, Benefit £19.00 £23.50
Day Tickets    
Adult £10.00 £13.00
Junior/Pensioner £5.00






The Fishing Season is closed from the 15th March until the 15th June annually.


The Duck and the World Sculpture
The Duck and the World Sculpture


For more details relating to the Sculpture above please click on the link here

The Lake is bounded by ancient woodland, and again the Council has had a hard balancing act to reconcile the needs of the population living all around the Park, many of whom use the main pathway as a thoroughfare, and the need to conserve a valuable habitiat.


The butterfly garden in 2014
The butterfly garden in 2014


There have been many improvements undertaken in recent years including desilting, bankworks, pathworks and water/fish quality controls.  these initiatives are ongoing, and anyone interested in becoming involved in the Conservation work would be welcome to join the Earley Environmental Group.  Details of aspects of the park management can be obtained from the Senior Park Ranger.


The Annual Green Fair held on the first Saturday in August which is always a very popular event.  2016 was particularly successful due to the very hot weather, which drew more people out.

Green Fair 2016