Sorry to make rules, but they are here to ensure that everyone who fishes the water and uses the lodge enjoys their stay.
- You and your party have the exclusive use of Birch Grove from 1.00 p.m. on the Sunday of arrival to 11AM on the Sunday at the end of your week. Please ensure that you vacate the water by 11AM at the latest on the Sunday of departure to allow us time to ensure that everything is in good order for the next group arriving.
- On your departure please lock the lodge and leave the keys on the hook in the left hand side of the storage cupboard at the side of the cabin.
- 3. Fish Welfare. Please DO NOT bring your own landing nets, weigh slings, retainers and unhooking mats onto the site. All this equipment is now provided for you and your group in order to help protect our fish from any bio security hazards.
- Sacking of Fish. Sacking of fish is NOT allowed, please do not bring carp sacks onto the site, they are a potential bio security hazard, and limit any retaining of fish to the bear minimum needed to organise your pictures.
- A maximum of four anglers can fish the water. A maximum of one non-angling guest per angler is permitted without extra charge.
- If any problems arise during your stay, please contact Dave Haughton on his mobile number 0777 3872 932. Alternatively, speak to Robert Gwilt who lives in the house at the top of Birch Grove, or ring Lisa Guy on 07890 557 422 or Steve Guy on 07812 969 997.
- Please leave the lake and the lodge clean and tidy and take any unused food and bait home with you. If you find the lodge or the lake in a mess, then please let us know straight away so we can take up the matter with the previous week’s party. Please be aware that we do not have cleaners at the cabin, so it is down to you to leave the lodge clean and tidy. The lake and cabin will be checked after each party’s departure on Sundays.
- Rubbish Disposal – at the top of the drive next to the gate, there are two bins which are for Birch Grove visitors to use. We keep the bins at the top of the drive to ensure that they are collected regularly, and bin collection day is not missed.
- In terms of the fishing, we ask for common sense and an adherence to our few rules, which are as follows:
- The use of all nuts is strictly forbidden.
- If you leave the swim then please reel in. Birch is a snaggy water and unattended runs can result in fish caught up in snags and loose line, which can cause tethering. Anyone caught breaking the unattended rods or nuts rules will be asked to leave the water, without refund, and won’t be allowed back on.
- If you cast into a tree, as we can all do on occasion, please go out in the boat to retrieve your tackle. Pulling for a break can result in trailing line.
- Most of us who fish the Birch far margins regularly do so from a rock-solid rod set, fishing locked up. This minimises the chances of the fish getting caught up in snags. If you do fish locked up, then make sure the rods can’t be pulled in!
- The boats can be used for baiting up, but no rowed-out hookbaits please. If you choose to use the boats then you do so at your own risk. Birch is a deep water and we strongly recommend the use of life jackets when you use a boat. There is a life jacket in the cabin, but if you use it, please return it to the cabin after use. Remote control boats are allowed on the water.
- The Environment Agency rod limit of three rods per licence applies to Birch. To fish more than three rods you must be in possession of two EA licences. The national rod limit of four rods applies to Birch Grove.
- Wooden platforms, in order to preserve the lifespan of the platforms, please utilise cup hook style screw in pegs if bivvying up on the platforms and for securing rod pods with bungee straps, stage stand set ups are also acceptable but please do not drill holes straight through the boards for standard bank sticks. Also be aware the swims can become slippery underfoot in wet weather.
- As a result of the gate being left open by visitors, we no longer have the privilege of bivvying on the far bank, or accessing the far bank swim by land. If you wish to day-fish from the platform on the far bank then you can access it by boat and fish from the platform itself, but it is not big enough to take a bivvy.
- Robert Gwilt and family live in the white house at the top of the slope. For this reason, there is no bivvying allowed in the area known as the cattle drink immediately in front of the house. We would also ask visitors to keep noise to a minimum, particularly at night, to avoid disturbing Robert and his family.
- New visitors might like to know that there is now a well-stocked Spar shop in Baschurch, next to the Gwilts’ garage, and a fantastic Chinese takeaway immediate left, just over the train crossing.
Birch Grove is approximately 5 acres in size and features a smooth, silty bottom, bloodworm beds, overhanging trees, lily pads, reedbeds, and deep margins. The water is around 13ft deep with deep margins sprinkled with lily beds and overhanging trees. The pegs are comfortable, comprising the Compound and the Main Boards (both often used as a double swim by visitors to ensure the lake is fished efficiently), and the middle swim, known as the Helipad. In addition, there is a smaller swim, known as Tag’s Swim at the far end of the lake, predominately a stalking peg, but feel free to bivvy up in this swim in the field (not on the boards) There is also the day-fishing swim previously referred to known as Bouncing Bobbins on the opposite side of the lake (opposite the Compound Swim) which can only be accessed by boat. This swim is ideal for margin fishing or close-water fishing but not suitable for bivvying up. The Lodge Swim can be fished by visiting anglers, by agreement among themselves, as long as it is understood that it restricts the fishing from the Compound.
Please enjoy your stay and leave the water and the amenities as you would hope to find them. Thanks for booking Birch Grove; we hope you have a wonderful trip.
Tim Paisley, Steve and Lisa Guy.