Cannop Ponds

Visitor information

Enjoy the peaceful wildlife at Cannop Ponds today

The site was originally home to the Severn and Wye Railway, which was constructed to allow exploitation of the mineral resources of the Forest of Dean.

The ponds were created in 1825 and 1829 to supply a waterwheel at Parkend Ironworks. Today, they are used for fishing by the Yorkley Angling Club and the site makes an idyllic spot to view local birdlife. Enjoy the picturesque picnic area overlooking the ponds and look out for the Mandarin ducks, reed warblers and a pair of nesting mute swans.

Walking trails will take you around the ponds or bring your bikes and join the Family Cycle Trail to explore the wider forest.

Walking at Cannop Ponds is the perfect way to get some fresh air and explore some of the area's most beautiful landscapes.

A path takes visitors around both lakes where it is possible to walk and enjoy the wildlife.  These are not waymarked or surfaced and so maybe muddy during the winter.


Cannop Ponds can be accessed by the 13 km (8 miles) Beechenhurst trail.

This is a challenging walk with several ascents and descents on unsurfaced paths. An OS map is advised for this trail or Ramblers map available from Forest of Dean Ramblers 

The route takes in lots of interesting cultural and built heritage including mines, quarries and the Severn & Wye Railway's Bicslade tram road which was the last horse drawn tram road to operate in the Dean.

Park at Cannop Ponds and follow the Family Cycle Trail to the Stone firms where you can cross the road to pick up the trail.

Cycles are not permitted on this trail please enjoy this one on foot.

A waymarked circular route mainly on former railway lines with connecting routes to villages and picnic sites. This route has been especially surfaced and is suitable for all ages and abilities.

You can access the family cycle trail from a number of locations around the Forest of Dean, including the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre, Beechenhurst and Mallards Pike.

Fancy a shorter family route? Try the 5-mile/8km ride from the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre or Beechenhurst on the waymarked Hicksters Way Loop.

To find out about cycle hire, tag-a-longs or electric bikes, contact our bike hire specialists who can be found at the Forest of Dean Cycle Centre.

This is a shared use trail and so you will come across walkers, dogs and runners on your way around. Please watch out for other people and take care when passing.

Cannop Ponds is one of the best waters in the forest for angling. Managed by Yorkley Angling Club, day permits can be bought on the bank from the Club bailiff or from local tackle shops


There are two lakes, both of which offer a variety of fish to impressive sizes:


Cannop 1, Southern Lake

58 PEGS  7 Disabled Platforms with Access Depth 3ft to 20ft

Stock: Carp 30lb+, Bream 6lb+, Tench 7lb, Pike 30lb+, Roach, Perch, Rudd, Eels, Chub


Cannop 2, Northern Lake

                                                             44 PEGS                                              3 Disabled Platforms with Access Depth 2ft to 8ft

Stock: Grass Carp 20lb+, Carp, Bream, Tench, Roach, Crucian Carp, Eels


Night Fishing is permitted only by holders of a night permit.


Nearby forests

Cafe at Beechenhurst in the Forest of Dean

Beechenhurst lies in the heart of the Forest of Dean, one of Britain's oldest and largest woodlands.

It is the ideal place for families to start their forest adventure, with a family activity trail, Sculpture Trail, play area and Go Ape Tree Top Adventure. You can even bring your bikes and access the wider forest on our Family Cycle Trail. 

Rider on cycling trail in the Forest of Dean

Forest of Dean Cycle Centre (formerly known as Cannop Cycle Centre) has something for cyclists of all ages and abilities. Try the Family Cycle Trail or test yourself on the singletrack trails and demanding downhill runs. We also have several skills areas for different abilities, plus a pump track - to help you hone your skills.

Lakeside view at Mallards Pike

There is something for everyone at this beautiful lakeside setting.

Adrenaline seekers can challenge themselves at Go Ape Tree Top Challenge. For those with energy left to burn there is Forest Segway or a range of running trails from 2km to 10km routes.

Family walking through autumnal forest

Wenchford is a beautiful spot nestled deep within the forest with plenty of picnic tables and an easy access path

Blackpool Brook trickles through the site under the dappled shade of the large oak trees. The paddling area is the perfect place to cool down in the hot summer months.

The toilet facilities are open from April until the end of October. Parking charges only apply during this time.  

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