The Eagle Pond


Leyton FlatsThe Eagle Pond, Snaresbrook, viewed from Snaresbrook Road and showing some of the large numbers of water-birds - particularly swans - that may be present. (January 2002)

The Eagle Pond is situated in the extreme north-west corner of Leyton Flats, bounded by a woodland area of the Flats on the west, the pavement of Snaresbrook Road on the north, and the grounds of Snaresbrook Crown Court on the south. The east end is also in the grounds of the court, and is in fact an embankment which forms a dam to hold the waters of the lake. From Snaresbrook Road there is an attractive and easy view of the numerous wildfowl that visit and inhabit the lake. Many visitors are surprised at the numbers of swans that may be present. This is in part due to the fact that the Swan Rescue organisation of Egham in Surrey have released onto this lake some of the swans cared for after injury. Anglers once fished the waters, but this has now ceased. The lake is fed to some extent by streams flowing into its western end from Gilbert's Slade to the north-west. Its overflow is from the dam on the eastern end, with an open channel soon depositing the water underground whence it flows to the River Roding.

In March 2002 the pond was de-silted by the Conservators of Epping Forest. The willow branch hanging into the water seen in the photograph above - taken in January 2002 - was removed. Barry Hughes of Snaresbrook Road pointed out that this had also resulted in the loss of a regular nesting site for coots. He also observed that the de-silting, having deepened the eastern end of the lake, could result in strong wind-borne waves breaking against and possibly - as climate change predicts increasing wind problems - breaking over the dam. He has identified also that the western end of the lake - by Leyton Flats - once had wharfing to protect the lake's boundaries. These are still visible below the usual water level. The resulting erosion is such that the lake is somewhat longer than it used to be, with even a large oak tree being cut around by the water. He has suggested that the wharfing be re-instated and the eroded bank be built up with silt from the lake in order to provide a contact by children with the lake and its waterfowl away from Snaresbrook Road.