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Wildlife - Fish, Rats and Bats

Fish & Fishing

All fish in the Pond are species that can live in brackish or salt water.  Freshwater fish will only be found upstream due to the salinity of the water in the Pond.


The most common fish are Grey Mullet, which spawn in the pond.  There are three species of mullet - the majority that populate the Pond are of the “thin lipped” variety.  Eels can also be seen.  

Other fish species recorded include: Salmon, Brown Trout (& occasional Rainbow), Sea bass, Sea bream, Flatfish,  Shrimps & Prawns.


The Pond is in addition a nursery area for fish such as Flounder, Sand Smelt and Goby.

Cormorant catches an Eel

Fishing Rules on Slipper Mill Pond - updated July 2022


The SMPPA, as the owner of the Slipper Mill Pond, has the following Fishing Rules:

•    Rod and line fishing is permitted from the south bank of the Pond only.
•    Net fishing is strictly forbidden.
•    No fish are to be taken from the Pond, regardless of size or species.

For many years the SMPPA has tolerated rod and line fishing in the Pond.  Recently there have been an increasing number of incidents of cast net fishing; it appears that those fishing in this manner are removing live fish from the Pond.  This practice is not permitted by the owner and constitutes theft.  Incidents of net fishing will be reported to the Police.

Grey Mullet

On the whole the limited number of rod and line anglers tend to fish from the south bank, however there have been incidents of anglers fishing from the pavement at the northern end of the Pond, meaning that the public have been forced to step into the road in order to pass the anglers.  This is not only an inconvenience but also puts the public at risk.  The west bank footpath is very narrow, and depending on tidal conditions, there can be a significant drop to the Ems River to the west of the path (or to the Pond on the east), again causing inconvenience to those using the footpath.

The SMPPA is going to great lengths to preserve the condition of the banks to the east of the Pond along Slipper Road, as well as promoting diversity of growth on these banks; for this reason we ask that no one use these banks for fishing as it disturbs the wildlife and vegetation.

Our aim is to promote biodiversity whilst maintaining the Pond and its environs for the benefit of the community; our intention is not to present a situation which might inflame or encourage conflict, whilst trying to ensure the longevity of the pond area for all.

We ask that access to the footbridge is kept clear and that you leave no litter, in particular discarded fishing line.  If you enjoy the use of the pond area for whatever purpose, you may wish to contribute to the upkeep of the Pond, either by joining the SMPPA, or by direct donation though our JustGiving page

Rats & Water Voles


Water voles have been well recorded in the past, and are present in Brook Meadow, but have not been seen by the Pond in recent years.  


Sadly the most flourishing mammal has been the rat, possibly encouraged by well-meaning but over-generous feeders of bread to the ducks and swans.


A local ecologist conducted a bat survey (see map to right) in May 2021 and recorded three species – common pipistrelle, soprano pipistrelle and noctule bats. They were foraging and commuting along Slipper Road.  She has also picked up a Myotis bat near the mill; there are several species of Myotis bat in the UK and it can be difficult to tell them apart by their calls alone but it is most likely Brandt’s or whiskered.

Common and soprano pipistrelles are quite common and small species of bats. They are crevice dwellers, opting for roosts in buildings such as small gaps under roof tiles or hanging tiles. Common pips forage over a range of habitats but show a preference for deciduous woodland, while soprano pips tend to prefer riparian habitats. Noctule is a large species of bat which roosts predominately in trees, using gaps such as woodpecker holes. They forage out in the open over trees.


Several of the houses along Slipper Road have bat roosts as there are lots of nice roof and hanging tiles.  A useful website is which has information on bat boxes and how to encourage bats.

Bat Survey 2021 SMPPA.png
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