BIRDWATCHERS AND OTTER LOVERS SPRING TO DEFENCE OF KENT’S ANGLERS IN GRAVEL PITS DRAMA

BIRDWATCHERS and otter lovers have sprung to angling’s defence in a bid to save fishing at four historic gravel pits.

BIRDWATCHERS AND OTTER LOVERS SPRING TO DEFENCE OF KENT’S ANGLERS IN GRAVEL PITS DRAMA

by Chris Haydon |

Bradbourne Lakes has been fished since 1948, but Kent Wildlife Trust (KWT) has told Bromley & District Angling Society (BDAS) to move on from next month, as it plans to redevelop the site.

BIRDWATCHERS AND OTTER LOVERS SPRING TO DEFENCE OF KENT’S ANGLERS IN GRAVEL PITS DRAMA

Bradbourne Lakes has been fished since 1948

The lakes, on the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, hold 40lb-plus carp, specimen tench, bream and pike, but BDAS has been told that angling will end on March 15, even though it has an agreement until 2024.

This has prompted the Angling Trust’s Fish Legal team to intervene. It says the planned termination of BDAS’s licence is “not effective” and that the club “would welcome a constructive discussion” on the site’s future.

BDAS secretary Dennis Puttock said:

“Our members are appalled by the treatment they have received from KWT. Its misguided anti-angling agenda is a slap in the face to our volunteers and to all the local families who value this peaceful oasis.”

Support for the club’s plight gathered momentum last week, with backing even coming from several communities deemed to be at loggerheads with angling.

Dave Webb, of the UK Wild Otter Trust, said his organisation was

“dismayed to hear fishing at this historic club lake was to be ended”,

adding:

“We totally rebut the idea that angling, otters, beavers and other wildlife are unable to co-exist.”

James Wallace, of the Beaver Trust, said:

“Angling, beavers and nature restoration are compatible. We hope that the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve will find a compromise where different activities, including angling, can be accommodated.”

Chris Couch, from Sevenoaks Birdwatchers Action Group, added:

“Do the new heads of KWT not know that fishermen, birdwatchers and wildlife go hand-in-hand?”

KWT spokesperson Fiona White told Angling Times:

“Ahead of the public consultation, we felt it was right to communicate our intentions to BDAS first as a key stakeholder. We had hoped BDAS would contact us directly after our initial conversation, in which we offered further support and discussion if desired, but we are yet to hear from them.”

The Duke of Edinburgh was a former visitor to the site now proposed to be off limits to anglers

The Duke of Edinburgh was a former visitor to the site now proposed to be off limits to anglers

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