In 1962 the late Norman Symonds bought six lakes with a few caravans on it and had the vision to create what became the iconic Waveney Valley Lakes Caravan Park in Norfolk. This would become a blue print for future carp fisheries in the UK and Europe.
Between 1963 and 1966 Norman and Vera Symonds develop the lakes and land.
By 1967 we had met our long term friends David, Ros and Micheal Everett and started to bring carp in from Belgium to stock the lakes at Waveney Valley Lakes. Between 1967 and 1969 we started bringing in tons of carp to stock the lakes at Waveney Valley. From 1967 to 1973 our friends (Everett’s) imported around 20 to 30 tons of carp per year, these were varying sizes and supplied them across the UK.
In 1971 Peter Stacey’s two 30lbs+ carp hit the national angling press and made people notice Waveney Valley. We start seeing a new type of angler come fishing
just for carp.
In 1972 we bought Fishers Green in Waltham Abbey, Essex with two lakes and a stretch on the River Lea.
In 1973 we continued to bring big carp from Belgium for Fishers Green and Waveney Valley. By now every lake at Waveney Valley had carp over 30lbs and
was continually making the fishing news. On one shipment from Belgium we imported three tons of carp over 30lbs around 190 fish.
In 1974 the importation of carp from Europe is stopped by the UK authorities.
By 1974 anglers from across the UK started coming weekly to Waveney Valley Lakes, including Lenny Middleton, Kevin Maddocks, Rod Hutchinson, Jeremy Wade and many many more… it is considered that the modern day carp angler developed from this period at Waveney Valley Lakes, and our complex helped create the carp fishing industry. Our late friend John Wilson writes the first piece on Waveney Valley about us, this would start our 44 year friendship with him.
In 1975 Norman Symonds decided to build at Fishers Green in Essex the first purpose built carp farm.
In 1976 Martin Symonds catches a 45.12oz mirror carp from Fishers Green but claims it as 42.12oz. It is still the biggest mirror carp caught in the UK at that time.
By 1977 the carp farm was completed in Essex and the first fish produced in 1978.
In 1978 we bought Homersfield Lake, which Redlands Aggregate had finished digging in 1977.
Between 1978 and 1980 we were breeding 100,000’s of carp at our farm in Essex and with the then Thames Water Authority, these carp were stocked all over the Thames Valley region and also to other water authorities in the UK. It was one of the most prolific times for carp to be stocked around the country.
1978-1980: Waveney Valley Lakes – a complex that spawned an industry Waveney Valley Lakes continued its reputation for carp fishing becoming even more popular. Taken from CARPology magazine, the above diagram shows how influential the complex became for carp anglers back then.
In 1980 we take from our carp farm around 3,000 carp to stock into Homersfield Lake ranging from 4lbs to 35lbs.
Between 1980 and 1981 we bought an over run property with another lake next to Waveney Valley Lakes and this is the start of the development of Yew Tree lake. Yew Tree lake is opened and new stock ponds are built on marsh land.
In 1981 Martin Symonds visited Japan for the first time, his first importation of koi accidentally includes small Magoi (common carp). This would lead to us cross breeding carp from Belgium and Magoi from Japan, developing our own bloodline of carp from then onwards.
In 1982 we held the VERY FIRST carp teach in at Waveney Valley. Top anglers Lenny Middleton, Rod Hutchinson, Clive Diedrich, Malcolm Winkworth and Tim Paisley joined Martin Symonds with six competition winners from the Anglers Mail. Martin becomes the East Anglia regional organiser for the newly formed Carp Society.
In 1982 as a family we decide to sell Fishers Green in Essex, it was split into three lots and sold.
In 1984 Martin Symonds bought a run down trout farm called Tewin Mill near Welwyn in Hertfordshire, it would be developed into one of the UK’s biggest water garden centres in the UK also a fish farm was built to grow on carp. In 1985 the stock ponds at Yew Tree Lake were made into another lake called Marsh Lake.
In 1988 we decided to sell Waveney Valley Lakes after 26 years. We keep Yew Tree and Marsh lake and decide to put all our time in creating and making Homersfield Lake what it is today.
Over the next 10 years Martin would have fish facilities in Europe, Israel, Hong Kong, China, USA, Malaysia and Japan.
In 1990 we took on a warm water growing on facility in the north of England for growing ornamental fish and carp.
Throughout the 1990’s several of John Wilsons “Go Fishing” TV programs are filmed at Homersfield.
In 1991 We reopened Yew Tree Fisheries after stocking it with numerous 30lbs+ and 20lbs+ carp. Well known angler Andy Little catches a 40lbs+ winter carp from here.
In 1993 the official British Wels catfish record is caught at Homersfield (49lbs 12oz) before being disbanded due to illegal imports.
In the mid 1990’s Homersfield Lake produces its first 50lbs+ common carp.
Between 1995 and 1999 Martin’s centre in Herfordshire is the largest importer of Japanese koi in the UK.
In 2000 Martin sold Tewin Mill in Hertfordshire and moves to Japan to work with the koi breeders in Niigata for 10 years.
In 2004 we started putting in place the very first otter fencing around the whole complex at Homersfield Lake which was finally finished in 2005.
In 2006 we built a series of stock ponds at Homersfield so we can breed and rear carp at the lake and continue to improve our bloodline and selection process of our carp.
In 2006 John Wilson films his carp fishing film here for the Discovery channel.
In 2010 the lake’s first 50lbs+ mirror carp is caught at 51lbs 12oz In 2012 we opened Kingfisher Lodge for people to stay at the lake and fish.
In 2013 Norman Symonds biography “One Man’s Passion for Carp” is published and written by John Wilson. In 2014 Martin wrote a series of articles for “Carpology” magazine.
In 2017 Specimen angler Phil Spinks makes angling history by catching SIX 3lbs+ roach at the lake in one session. A 4lbs 3oz Roach was also caught by a member.
Four different 4lbs+ roach have been caught here.
In 2018 we made a short promotional film with John Wilson and Phil Spinks about the lake. This sadly was the last time John was here before passing away later in the year in Thailand.
In 2019 Norman Symonds passed away at the age of 94, leaving behind a huge legacy of his carp fisheries and carp farms he had created in the UK.
In 2019 we opened our holiday home Five Islands House allowing families to stay with views over the lake.
By 2020 The lake is producing carp up to nearly 60lbs, numerous 20’s, 30’s and 40’s reside here, which have been bred in the lake over the last 20 years. The lake is also producing many large roach over 3lbs+, Wels catfish round 100lbs, tench over 10lbs, bream up to 16lbs and big perch as well. It is now known as one of the best all round specimen lakes in the UK.
In 2021 we started filming “The Lake” series of films following a year at the lake and how Phil Spinks fishes during the year. YouTube sensations Carl and Alex make a film here as do the guys from ‘From the Waters Edge’. We have two charity match angling days.
60 years later and the story continues…