Residents protest late-night fishing at Ingrebourne Hill

PUBLISHED: 12:00 15 May 2016

Ingrebourne Hill. Picture: Roger Jones

Ingrebourne Hill. Picture: Roger Jones

Roger Jones

Residents have expressed their concerns regarding illegal late night fishing taking place at Ingrebourne Hill.

The 57 hectare country park in Rainham is home to more than 4km of public footpaths and actively encourages joggers and cyclists, but fishing in the lake is strictly prohibited.

However, a number of residents have now witnessed small groups of anglers setting up to fish after dark.

A resident of Rainham Road, where the Ingrebourne Park car park is located, claimed she regularly saw a large van entering and leaving the park late at night, and revealed she was worried about the effect it was having on the area.

She said: “They take ages and make a load of noise getting stuff out of the back and then they head off.

“It’s always too dark to see, so my husband took the dog out for a walk one night because he was curious and saw two young men fishing on the lake.

“They leave a load of litter., and as the weather gets better it’s only going to get worse.”

Another concerned resident was Philip Bowen, a photographer who regularly walks in the park.

However, he believes the culprits to be unfortunate individuals who have found themselves sleeping rough.

He said: “The weather was terrible and I saw four people gathered round the lake – two of them were practically in the bushes.

“They looked like they’d been there a while. I do hope something can be done for them.”

Mr Bowen described the group he witnessed standing around the lake as “dishevelled” and “fairly depressed.”

Thames Chase community ranger Scott Osborne was aware of fishing at the lake, but did not believe anything sinister was going on.

He said: “ We have been made aware of a small number of similar incidents of people fishing at the lake in the evenings.

“Reports have been made both on our website and by one resident who got in touch over the phone.

“We are investigating the matter, and regularly send an assistant park ranger to the site to monitor the situation, but we are not aware that there is any cause for concern.”

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