Following last month’s explanation on the direction of travel with our application into the Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund (NEIRF) to look at the scope and feasibility of generating a market ready solution, thereby placing broads angling on a sustainable footing, through the generation of new revenues from the 1.4m angling visits to the broads.
Some people have raised eyebrows on why this is costing some £100k, be assured we have had to demonstrate within the grant application that any costs are supported by 3 quotes across the market and that the lowest price be selected. These prices are the market for engaging professionals into what is a complex picture of land management and marketing.
This is extracted from the application.
The Broads form the UK largest inland recreational fishery, supporting socio economic benefits over £140m per annum, which is currently an untapped resource attracting 1.4 million angler visits making no contribution to its sustainability.
Compare to somewhere like the Loch Lomand National Park which charges £2.50 per day. Valuing the Broads at £3.75m per annum.
This project is to assess the feasibility and systems that can be used to create a sustainable model where anglers invest in the facilities they use exploring new models of:
- Landowner business & financial engagement
- Technical support for structuring investment & generation of sustainability
- Legal & governance advice on leases and access rights
- Developing marketing & sales promotion strategies to demonstrate market confidence and potential
- Ensuring scalability & capacity with improved environmental protection
- This is currently defined as being 23kms of accessible bank across 20+ landowners
Delivering a set of environmental outcomes
- An enhanced experience for disadvantaged anglers & young people using the Broads
- Improved habitat for fish, wildlife, fauna & birds that live within the Broads
- Connecting more people with nature
- Improve the relationship between people and the way they value nature
- Improve management of non native species
Adoption of new innovative approaches to bring together Landowners, Tourists and Stakeholders to increase opportunities for engagement with the natural environment for all and creates a platform for the management of recreation access, is a new approach for the Broads and we have letters of support from EA, NE, BA & AT.
If approved, it would run from June 2022 for 18 months.
BASG is entitled to receive 10% of the grant as full cost recovery and I thought it appropriate to show the effort I personally have committed to this so far this year, as I have started to log my voluntary time spent on angling related issues.
Month BASG AT
Jan 85hrs 35hrs
Feb 62hrs 19hrs
Mar 55hrs 29hrs
Once you add Duncan’s time, now he is effectively full time with BASG, you can see why we need professional help to progress this forward.
Duncan has provided much vision on the sustainability element and focused on the Broads Angle reprint for 2022, Anglers Litter and reputation with Broads Stakeholders, a summer education program in the Broads and Salinity management with the EA. We had proposed to hold a weekend litter pick in early April, but having reviewed the current volumes of litter, we have decided to delay this until Sept and after the peak holiday season. Whilst also steering the grant application.
There has been a spate of consultations recently all on a number of activities taking place within the Broads and certainly not really joined up across the statutory government agencies.
Broads Futures Initiative. BFI have a report from Jacobs on salinity for consultation. I have with some the help from Simon Salter responded to this, in terms of salinity monitoring. In which the reports state more data is needed to model and understand the impact.
River Basin Management Plan. RBMP the EA has its 2022 plan out for consultation. I have responded with the Angling Trust on this, not really of specific local issues. But the more strategic approaches used by DEFRA in attempting to manage the riverine environment.
Water Resources East. WRE have published for consultation their evolving plan on water resources, with some concerning long term challenges on water deficits across East Anglia.
Water for Tomorrow. WfT has published an Atkins consultation looking at specifics within Broadland and how water can be better managed, set against the deficits defined in the WRE evolving plan. I have challenged the policy defined within the Wensum Restoration Strategy that removes all barriers and weirs thereby reducing levels, set against the emerging need to hold the flow and capture water.
Landscape Review the government’s response to the Glover Report was published in January and again is out for consultation response by the 9th April. I have made a submission on behalf of BASG, into the way the Broads is managed and funded and it directly links into the NEIRF grant application for sustainable revenues.
Our end of year accounts shows the following for 2021-22
So we made a £900 loss just to exist and it’s the next item to address as like everything today our fixed costs are rising.
We have agreed to transition over to use the Clubmate solution for our IT and communications suite, as the licencing costs of our existing solution has risen steeply. Clubmate takes us forward on a journey with many out of the box tools, including a full communications suite and readiness for a fully integrated permit management solution for the price of the licence of our existing solution. This does mean it’s priced on a per member basis at £1.44 per subscription. We have decided that from our current subscriber base of over 600 to filter out all people who have never opened any correspondence from us.
That takes us down to 150 people who are actively engaged with us and we intend to bulk transfer these over to Clubmate as per their existing profiles (Member, Volunteer, Subscriber, Professional) and we will cover the initial 12 months fees. We will look at how to address the future, with a number of options to be considered with either donations, grants or basic subscription fee. But this will be in parallel to any outcome on the permit feasibility.
Wider afield on the Wensum, I hosted the first face to face working group last week.
We discussed the activities from the engagement of Steve Lane on completing an assessment of how we could introduce a catchment wide citizen science monitoring scheme and align our Riverflies sampling scheme. The recently appointed NRT Wensum Officer Sarah Gelpke will be shortly calling for volunteers to build the volunteer base undertaking water quality sampling, initially on the headwaters, but then extending into Norwich as we attempt to secure more volunteers. This again will be supported through the switch over to Clubmate as it supports volunteer management and scheduling tools.
Sadly as I write this, John Flowerdew the Chairman of the Wensum Catchment Partnership has decided to step down to focus on his own personal retirement ambitions, rather than playing snakes and ladders on the Wensum and its stakeholders.
As you can see lots going on and little time for fishing.