Angling Times’ campaign to get a fishing ban lifted at a popular Northern complex has gathered momentum this week after a host of the sport’s biggest names threw their support behind the crusade.
Anglers in the Doncaster area were left reeling when the local council announced that fishing would be outlawed at the popular Cusworth Park Lakes, with many calling AT to report their anger at the decision.
The battle to get the ban reversed was launched instantly, and in the past week a number of high-profile anglers moved to back the fight.
Youngsters had flocked to the water to get their first taste of the sport before the ban was introduced, and former world champion Tommy Pickering has fond memories of doing the same.
“I used to fish Cusworth 40 years ago when I was a kid ¬ it was one of the waters where it all began for me. I’d get the bus over with all my tackle and fish for the tench and crucians with cheesepaste. The ban saddens me,” said Tommy.
Yorkshire-based all-rounder Bob Roberts is only too aware of the importance of waters such as Cusworth. He said: “The council should be putting money into keeping these lakes available for fishing ¬ it keep kids off the streets and stops them from getting involved in crime. Park lakes are safe, wide open spaces and are a perfect breeding ground for the new blood coming into fishing.” Barnsley Blacks ace and ex- England international Denis White has been coaching youngsters for decades and is adamant park lakes are crucial to the future of the sport.
“Governments and councils should be encouraging kids to fish, not putting them off by imposing random bans for weak reasons. I have been coaching for
35 years and I have never had one child cause me any problems ¬ our sport keeps them out of trouble. This ban is scandalous and it should be overturned.” Despite the increased pressure, officials at Doncaster Council have stood their ground, for the time being at least. Jane Miller, director of Neighbourhoods and Communities, said: “Cusworth Hall is a truly special attraction and now with the increase in wildlife around the lakes its natural beauty remains strong. Allowing fishing to take place could put this in jeopardy and following the Environmental Impact Assessment and consultation with members of the public, it is just not appropriate to allow fishing to take place.”