Venue loss is the thin edge of wedge – Rob Hughes

by Angling Times |

Over the last couple of weeks it’s come to light that two high-profile fishing venues (there’s certainly more) have been or are being closed to angling, supposedly in the name of conservation. It’s a growing threat to our sport and something that I’ve touched upon before. The two venues are Old Bury Hill in Surrey, and Attenborough Pits in Nottinghamshire.

Old Bury Hill has been a commercial complex for years and the owners stated that the costs involved in running a fishery are increasing and it’s unviable. They’ve decided to sell off the boat house for conversion, presumably into housing, and will concentrate on retirement. It’s likely that anglers won’t be welcome around any multi-million-pound houses that may be built there. The lion’s share of the rest of the complex will be ‘rewilded’ – a real buzz word in today’s society.

Attenborough Pits has been a big part of the Nottingham angling scene for many years. It’s a lovely rambling complex where many have been able to seek solitude. The local wildlife trust has now decided that angling isn’t compatible with its plans. I’d be interested to hear what the mission statement of this wildlife trust is, if it’s not to promote wildlife. Are they going to ban dogs too?

We simply can’t take our fishing for granted, especially on shared ‘natural venues’. Conflict with other water users, in particular swimmers, canoeists, paddle boarders, boaters, walkers, bird watchers and wildlife trusts in general mean that, although we can happily co-exist, a lot of the time we’re excluded.

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