Dave Munt our Club & Fishery Development Officer for the East of England is Chairman of Billingham Angling Club who lease Charlton’s Pond from their local council. Dave writes: Recently the pond had become the site of illegal fly tipping and litter. After an appeal from father and son James and Jack Bates, the angling club lent litter pickers and manpower to a group of volunteers and I’m now helping residents to form a ‘Friends of Charlton’s Pond’ group as well as seeking funding to further develop the site for the benefit of angling and the general public.
I received this email from James which is a great example of how ‘people power’ can benefit local amenities where the public can come and enjoy angling and wildlife. Here’s what Jack told me about how the community joined in and made a difference…
Me and my son Jack went for a walk to Charlton’s Pond as we love going there and enjoying the environment, but when we arrived we were shocked at what we saw – loads of rubbish!
There aren’t a lot of places like Charlton’s Pond in Billingham and it’s so close to home that we can visit regularly. So we were upset to see it being abused by litter bugs and fly tippers and decided to have a clean-up. We picked up as much litter as we could but after a couple of hours just couldn’t manage any more. I put a few pictures on Facebook that evening and thought nothing more about it…
But that’s when things started to take off! The response on Facebook was amazing! People were grateful we’d taken time to help the community, and that inspired them to help too.
Next day everyone from the Facebook group met at Charlton’s Pond to do some litter picking and tidying. Now we plan to make it a monthly event. I must say it fills me with pride for our small town that just making that little decision to pick up a bit of litter has inspired so many people!
My son Jack told me “I’m happy that we’re cleaning up the pond because if people see us picking up rubbish they probably won’t drop it in the first place. I was really happy everyone wanted to help and whenever I go back to Charlton’s Pond I’m excited to see how nice it looks now.”
I’m very proud of Billingham’s residents, it’s a lovely town that’s been made a little bit better because people want a quiet place to go and relax. Charlton’s Pond is the ideal place and with its beautiful scenery, brilliant fishing and friendly patrons, the future looks bright for our little pond!” James Bates, Billingham resident and Friend of Charlton’s Pond.
For more info about fishing at Charlton’s pond contact Dave Munt, Angling Trust Club & Fishery Development Officer on [email protected] or 07854 239 715
Notes to Editors:
The Get Fishing campaign is run by the Angling Trust to increase the number of people being introduced to angling across the country. Anyone interested in going fishing can find angling events at Get Fishing Near You. The events listed are for all participants regardless of gender, age, fitness or previous angling experience. Contact: Will Smith, Angling Promotion Manager, Angling Trust on [email protected]
The Environment Agency funds the Angling Trust to provide more opportunities for people to go fishing. Money from rod licence sales is spent on improving angling habitat and infrastructure through projects like the Angling Improvement Fund. You can get a fishing licence at www.gov.uk/fishing-licences