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Wild Pond Transformed by Habitat Improvements Benefits Angling and Community

How one Cambridge fishing club proved that working in partnership could create a fantastic base its coaching programme…

A huge amount of work can be required to transform a wild, natural pond into a fishery suitable for everybody to enjoy. Although getting any project like this up and running can be difficult, Cambridge Fish Preservation and Angling Society (CFPAS) have shown what is achievable by partnership working.

The club was founded in 1885 and offers a wide selection of angling opportunities throughout Cambridgeshire, from small intimate rivers to large stillwaters. Despite managing a variety of fisheries, the club are always on the lookout for new venues to benefit the local community. One such opportunity was Halls Pool at Milton Country Park.

The club already manages two larger waters at this location. Halls Pool, however offers something very different. Being much smaller than the other two lakes it had the potential to be a fantastic base for the club’s proactive coaching programme and a fishery suitable for young people and family groups to visit and enjoy.

The project took two approaches: improving access to the waterside and enhancing the habitat for fish in the pond.

Lake Clearance

Improving Access

Having gained support from the Environment Agency, Cambridge Sports Lakes Trust and South Cambridgeshire District Council, the club set about accessing funding. Support was granted through the Angling Improvement Fund that the Angling Trust administers on behalf of the Environment Agency. Over £5,000 was provided towards the costs of installing new recycled plastic platforms as well as re-decking an existing platform area. These new platforms will provide a fantastic area for the club’s Licenced Angling Coaches to give beginners the chance to try fishing for the first time.

Enhancing Habitat

Through the Environment Agency’s Fishery Improvement Programme, £3,000 was provided to support the habitat work required. This included removing hazardous stages and trees to create better air flow to the pond, installing marginal planting to the bare bank areas to offer cover and shelter and to remove logs and branches from the pond. These logs and branches were reused within the park to create other habitat areas for insects.

Chris Middleton, Environment Agency Fisheries Officer commented: “This project is an excellent example of how we invest the income we get from selling fishing licences. Clubs are free to apply for funding from both pots of money, as has happened here. It’s simple and targeted to groups that can manage and part-fund projects. CFPAS have shown what can be done and we hope this inspires other angling clubs and fisheries to follow suit by helping to improve fisheries get more people fishing.”

James Roche, Partnership Development Manager for the Angling Trust added: “It’s great to see a club making the most of a fantastic opportunity to create a new fishery which will benefit new and existing anglers. CFPAS have shown what can be achieved by working with partners like the Angling Trust and the Environment Agency to really maximise the investment into a fishery”.

John Pope, Junior Event Coordinator said: “Cambridge Fish Preservation & Angling Society are extremely grateful to have secured money from both the Angling Improvement Fund and the Fisheries Improvement Programme. This funding together with the voluntary help of many club members has resulted in us transforming this unused water into a fishery that will enhance our coaching programme and provide an exciting new water for our members to fish for years to come.”

The ongoing project already showcases the support that is available to the angling community. Once work is completed Halls Pool will provide the ideal place for young people and family groups to discover and enjoy the wonders of angling.

For further details on the support that is available to your angling club or fishery, simply contact Angling Trust Partnership Development Manager James Roche at [email protected] or 07791 786 251.

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About the Angling Improvement Fund:
To help increase the availability of funding for angling, the Angling Trust, in partnership with the Environment Agency, launched the Angling Improvement Fund (AIF). As long as a project meets the eligibility criteria, the Angling Trust welcomes applications from a wide range of angling providers – individually or in partnership – including clubs, commercial fisheries, charities and local authorities. Crucially, you don’t need to be an Angling Trust member club or fishery to apply. Because the money distributed as AIF awards is derived from the sale of coarse fish and non-migratory trout fishing licences in England, projects located outside of England, projects primarily supporting salmon and sea trout angling, and sea angling organisations are not currently eligible to apply.

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