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


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.



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.


If you wish to apply for a permit:


Adult and junior application forms and a copy of our fishing rules leaflet are available on our Council Documents page or can be requested by contacting us on Tel: 0118 986 8995.


On submitting an application for a permit, you will need to provide the following:

  • A Passport sized photograph
  • A copy of your rod license (Adults & Juniors over 12)
  • A copy of your birth certificate (Juniors only)
  • A Stamped Addressed Envelope (for us to send your permit to you by post) 

Permit Applications will be accepted as of Monday 15th May 2023.


Should you wish to come into the Council Helpshop, a permit can be produced while you wait.


Fishing Prices 2023-24

Fishing Prices 2024-25


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 the Council has to balance 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 habitat.


The butterfly garden in 2014
The butterfly garden in 2014


The Park Rangers are constantly working to maintain and improve the Nature Reserve including rebarking paths, coppicing, desilting, bank works, hedge cutting, stream widening, gullying and flood prevention. Further details of the park management can be obtained from the Senior Park Ranger. Anyone interested in becoming involved in Conservation work would be welcome to join the Earley Environmental Group.


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


The Town Council is pleased to share the Maiden Erlegh Nature Reserve Learning Resource booklet which has been produced by Earley Environmental Junior Group.


This fun booklet can be downloaded and printed for both adults and children to take to the Nature Reserve, encouraging education in local nature and the environment.