Charity Lakes fishery offers its members excellent fishing in beautiful, peaceful surroundings.
Situated in the village of Lenwade who's records date back to medieval times the fishery can be found at Common Lane off the A1067 Fakenham Road (Sat Nav NR9 5QQ) and accessed by a secure padlocked gate offering security to our members, their vehicles and tackle.
The fishery known nationally for its large carp and until recently Norfolk's record fish in 'Baby Face' at 53.10 also provides within its three lakes and 0.5 mile of river some fantastic angling with further carp to 41.06lbs, pike to 30.08lbs, tench to 12.12lbs, and double figure bream, making this a truly outstanding mixed specimen fishery.
The fishery locally however has always been known for its tench fishing which is by far some of the best in Norfolk, offering either large catches of tench to 5-6lbs or fish in excess of double figures every season, topped by a massive tench of 12.12lb caught spring 2011.
With further careful stocking and development of this fishery over the next few years we will continue to build on the big fish pedigree the lakes clearly have providing further opportunities for our members to catch personal best carp and tench yet will also be providing our members with the opportunity should they wish to while away some hours with the gentler side of angling watching the streams of bubbles rising around their float, as a kingfisher darts from branch to branch in the early morning mist.
Each lake is explained in further detail on this website please use this information to decide which is the lake for you this season, and remember Angling is a very personal experience, at the Charity Lakes we aim to provide you with the fishing you want to enjoy !
With secure ample parking, clean fully serviced toilet facilities, and secure otter fencing protecting our fish stocks the fishery has invested to provide our members with a fishery they can visit time after time and be safe, secure and confident that on the right day a personal best fish may end up in their net.
The fishery has a unique character in its origins and continues to play a role in the local comunity to this day:
The land popularly but incorrectly known as Great Witchingham Common includes some 25 acres, 3 roods and 11 perches of land belonging to the Great Witchingham Fuel Allotment Charity. The Great Witchingham fuel allotment was originally created in 1811 by the Enclosure Commissioners under the Great Witchingham Enclosure Act. At that time the purpose of the Great Witchingham Allotment was to be for the benefit of persons in the parish who occupied dwellings in the parish of less than £5 annual value who had no other common rights and who had not been allotted an award of land by the Enclosure Commissioners.
On the 14th: December 1992 the Charity Commission formerly amended the scheme for the regulation of the Great Witchingam Fuel Allotment Charity. The purpose of the Charity provides " .that the Trustees shall apply the income of the Charity in relieving either generally or individually persons resident in the Parish of Great Witchingham who are in condition of need, hardship or distress .". The present day practice is for the Trustees to receive applications for a grant of aid from needy parishioners each Christmas and to make an annual monetary grant in accordance with the aims of the Charity. The land is not formally registered as a common and the freehold is vested in the Charity Commissioners.
Some 6.7 acres, part of Church Lake is occupied by Great Witchingham Church Lands Charity vested in the Board of Finance of the Diocese of Norwich and managed by the Rector and Church Wardens under a measure of 1964.
The Great Witchingham Fuel Allotment lies between the River Wensum and the village of Great Witchingham. After enclosure the land is understood to have been used variously for grazing, fishing and the provision of fuel for those parishioners so entitled. Up to the mid 1980's the land was excavated for aggregate. The lakes formed following the mineral extraction were landscaped and are currently used for angling. A charge is made for anglers and this charge forms the major part of the Charity's income.
The River Wensum (including its banks) is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The river is also a Special Area of Conservation. These are legal designations. As such, under the provisions of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, it is an offence to undertake certain operations without prior permission from Natural England, the Government's agency for protecting nature. To find out more about the River Wensum the river restoration stratergy and its SSSI status follow the links here.
Parts of the land (including the Great Witchingham Fuel Allotment land) are a County Wildlife Site. This means that the site has been recognised as one of the best sites for wildlife in addition to official nature reserves. A County Wildlife Site does not have any statutory protection, but its value is recognised by the Norfolk County Council Structure Plan, and are adopted by the Trustees of the Great Witchingham Fuel Allotment Charity. The site formerly qualified for grant from the Forestry commission which continues under the English Small Woods Scheme and is also part of Norfolk County Council Wet Woodlands initiative.