Fishing can be a solitary adventure and I’m not talking about just being by the water. If only anglers could find a way of working together for the greater good then we could achieve some great outcomes. However my favourite saying is that angling means so many things to so many different people and clearly folks outside angling don’t understand this. In the past decade as the regional chair of the Angling Trust, I despair sometimes why everything seems more about internal angling politics than strategically moving angling forward together.
If we could capture the essence brought by the likes of Mortimer and Whitehouse in their recent exploits “Gone Fishing” on the Broads we could build some real outcomes for angling and the social well being that comes from it.
This is one of our ambitions within the Broads to move angling into the 21st centaury and not leave it struggling in the past and with the under investment as seen in the past decade. Clearly we are not going to bring everybody with us on this journey in which I admit our communications haven’t always been the best. But the base story has been clear, that we need to place Broads Angling on a sustainable footing. It’s how we achieve this ambition is now the next step in this journey, which we would appreciate some help and support.
We have reached out to our members and volunteers recently and not received the best of responses, which is something we need to address. Whilst on the Wensum the complexity of governance just makes things extremely challenging. Sadly this led to the partnerships chairman standing down, a reflection on how challenging these things really are.
On the brighter side, we took delivery last week of 34 line recycling bins, which we plan to install across the Broads, as part of the National Line Recycling Scheme. This was possible through a grant from “Love The Broads” which we put forward in response to issues with birds and angling line entanglement in and around Hoveton. We hope to have these inplace by the start of the season. But please make use of these and dispose of line by either taking it home or by using these bins. We are currently compiling an angling fact sheet which we intend to distribute in their thousands across the Broads this summer, so all visitors can not only improve their angling abilities, but also their relationship with the natural world so exposed in the Broads.
We have recently had two specific meetings with the EA management team, Duncan hosted them for a tour of the Broads when a range of issues were discussed from saline barriers, resources and securing Postwick’s future, It’s great news that 2 additional fishery officers are being recruited for Norfolk and the Broads. We also have explored the underlying monitoring plan designed to understand the impacts once the barriers are placed around Hoveton Great Broad later this year, whilst we continue to work with the agency completing the finalisation of the 2022 Broads Angling Strategy.
We still await the outcome from our application into the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF) to look at the scope and feasibility of generating a market ready permit solution and the generation of new sustainable revenues from the 1.4m angling visits to the broads.