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Thorp Perrow



Map courtesy of Walkhighlands, OpenStreetMap contributors, and Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right, 2011.

Extent of fishing

Barningham Hill Tarn is a moorland lake situated off the moors road to the west of the village of Barningham on the North Yorkshire/County Durham border and although it is completely isolated, the lake is easily reached after a short drive up the A66.

The  tarn covers approximately four acres and is fed by clear peaty moorland run off water by two small becks. The best way of imagining this once delightful lake is as a Scottish loch which has accidentally been deposited in the wrong postcode. The scenery is varied, the angling is quite different in character to our other lakes, there is a great deal of birdlife and all in all we are extremely fortunate to be able to fish it. There is even a ruin to admire - Cowclose House isn't quite in the class of Jervaulx, but it definitely adds a certain je ne sais quoi.

The tarn used to have a resident population of wild brown trout but the build up of a large population of geese caused the lake to become eutrophic and the population has collapsed due to algal overgrowth. The wild fish were living in harmony with stocked rainbow trout, but unfortunately those find it just as difficult to survive now. The geese have brought weed with them, which has grown right around the margins and makes it almost impossible to bring in a fish it you do manage to catch one in the open water beyond.


There is adequate off road parking for a number of cars (4 rods maximum) on the short moorland track which leads from the tarmac to the main gated entrance to the tarn. Please note that the track can become boggy after heavy rain.


There are good buzzer hatches and fishing can be most rewarding with imitative dry and wet buzzer patterns, as well as sedges and olives. Needless to say, classic Scottish loch style fishing works very well and Barningham used to provide a fabulous opportunity to fish traditional wingsed wet patterns.

The margins are firm in many places, but there are significant accumulations of silt, so although wading the lake is possible, take care.

Special notices

Barningham has midges, which, together with the lake, also appear to have been deposited at the wrong postcode. Do not under any circumstances go up there during the summer months without effective midge repellant. On the majority of days, there will be enough wind to ground the little devils, but should the wind drop, well, you have been warned!

Be aware that Barningham is not only on the 250m contour, but that it is completely exposed to the weather, particularly northerly and westerly winds, the shelter from easterlies being fairly minimal. Bring warm clothes!

The area is maintained by the riparian owner as a bird sanctuary, so the fishing season starts a little later than our other still waters to prevent disturbance of nesting birds. Apart from the geese, the birds are part of the attraction of being at Barningham, so please be especially careful to take waste nylon and flies home with you, but we would caution that there seem to be very few fish in the lake now and that the weed is a serious problem.