Magnet fishing

Magnet fishing is a relatively new activity which involves using high-powered magnets attached to a rope to retrieve metal objects from the UK’s waterways.

Family and a dog walking on a grassy bank at Acle Bridge moorings

To magnet fish in the Broads you need landowners’ permission to do so from private land. We have not banned magnet fishing from our 24-hour moorings, however individuals taking part in this activity do so at their own risk.

We ask that people who are magnet fishing do so safely, considerately and are careful not to impede the enjoyment other river users, including vessels wishing to moor up. You should also take care to avoid mooring lines, anglers, paddlers, overhead power lines and other people using the waterways.

You must take home and safely dispose of all objects retrieved from the rivers and ensure that no items are left on the riverbank. Failing to take retrieved items away constitutes fly-tipping and we will report any incidents to the police/Environment Agency for enforcement action to be taken. Please pay particular attention to any sharp or rusty bits of metal which pose dangers to the public, local wildlife and pets if left on the riverbank.

Due to the history of the Broads area, there is also a risk of retrieving weapons or unexploded ordnance from the waterways. This is particularly a concern where the rivers pass through urban settlements such as Norwich or Great Yarmouth. You must report any concerning findings to the police on 101 or 999 in case of emergency.

Please be aware of the risks of magnet fishing which include:

  • Accidentally entering the water due to the size, weight and power of the magnets used for the activity we advise life jackets are worn when magnet fishing.
  • Potential trip hazards associated with the use of ropes near the water’s edge
  • Possible retrieval of weapons or ordnance from the water which pose physical harm to yourself and others
  • Contraction of diseases, cuts and infection caused by the mishandling of sharp or rusty objects

We urge you to familiarise yourself with the risks associated with magnet fishing and conduct further research online on how to do it safely.

Further information

If you have questions regarding a specific location please contact the landowner directly. For general queries or to report safety concerns contact Broads Control on 01603 756056 or To report dangerous findings, including weapons, contact the police on 101/999.