Cannop Ponds

Visitor information

Enjoy a day by the water at Cannop Ponds

Cannop Ponds are two reservoirs within the Forest of Dean, originally created in 1820s 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 Colliers Trail to explore the wider forest on two wheels.


At a glance

A catering unit is at Cannop Ponds 11am - 4pm during school holidays and every weekend throughout the year, serving food, drinks and ice creams. Make sure you try the wild boar hot dogs!
03/01/2024 12:38
Aerial shot of a drill rig on a dam at Cannop Ponds

The Future of Cannop Ponds

The dams and spillways at Cannop Ponds are nearly 200 years old, and so work is being carried out to future-proof the site and address the structural issues that have been found.

Things to do

The Colliers Trail is our family cycling trail - a fully waymarked, circular route, with connecting routes to villages and picnic sites. This route has been especially surfaced and is suitable for all ages and abilities.

The trail follows the route of the old railway which served the many coal mines (collieries) around the Forest. The remnants of many of these former mines are still visible today, along with the station names.

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

Fancy a shorter family route? Try the 5mile/8km ride from 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 on-site bike hire specialists at 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.

If you are interested in learning more about the local history, you can download the “Forest of Dean Hidden Heritage” app for free from your app store. This is packed full of information on each point of interest along the trail.


Download our trail maps here

Check if our cycling trails are open or closed

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

Approx. 50 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

                                                             Approx. 30 pegs                                              3 Disabled Platforms with Access Depth 2ft to 8ft

Stock: Rudd, Perch, Carp, Bream, Tench, Roach, Crucian Carp, Eels


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


Please note: The dams and spillways at Cannop Ponds are nearly 200 years old, and so work is being carried out to future-proof the site and address the structural issues that have been found. This may affect the fishing rights temporarily in future years, but the project is in early stages and works are still being designed. 

With several picnic tables scattered along a grassy area, enjoy a tasty treat in the forest at Cannop Ponds. 

Silvia Davis Refreshments are open 11am – 4pm every weekend and daily during the Gloucestershire School Holidays.  

Refreshments include a choice of wild boar, venison or vegan sausages in a bap; burgers (including vegetarian) plus a selection of hot and cold drinks and ice cream (including vegan options).

To prevent forest fires and reduce waste, please do not bring any barbecues into our forests.


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


Lakeside path

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


Fancy something longer? 

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 

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, large forest-themed play area and Go Ape high ropes course. Explore the forest on foot using one of our walking trails, or bring your bikes and visit the wider forest using the Colliers Trail - our family-friendly cycling route.

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 paddling in a brook

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.

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