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What is the Angling Improvement Fund? Find out more about how the fund works and who benefits

Round 2 Fund Winning Projects 2015/16

Fourteen more angling projects were supported through Round 2 of the Angling Improvement Fund, sharing £50,000 of funding made available by the Environment Agency from Rod Licence sales in England.

In this Round clubs and fisheries were asked to submit project ideas on the themes of 'Protecting Fisheries From Predation' or 'Getting Kids Into Fishing'. 81 entries were received in total and the best were chosen on the strength of the project need, the angling impact (protecting or boosting participation), our confidence in the applicant's delivery and evidence of complementary cash or in-kind funding.

A majority of the winning organisations had made earlier unsuccessful bids in Round 1, so we are glad their persistence paid off!

Round 2 Award Winners:

Christchurch Angling Club

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Feeding crucian carp on the top lake at Christchurch AC's Holtwood Ponds complex. The club is getting ready to install otter proof fencing around the three ponds at the fishery to protect fish stocks
Christchurch AC will use its award to erect otter-proof fencing to protect crucian and tench stocks at its Holtwood Lake complex.

Conservation has always been at the heart of what the club does and the fencing will be designed and built to do its job with as little disturbance as possible to other wildlife.

The project has already attracted a lot of interest from both existing members and visiting anglers and once the work is complete the club will be working on a number of participation initiatives.

Earl of Harrington's Angling Club

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The Alvaston Park Lake is rather featureless.  Earl of Harrington's AC will use their award to install floating reed beds and fish refuge cages - improving fishing quality and the general attractiveness of the venue
Earl of Harrington's AC in Derby have a development plan in place for the total improvement of its Alvaston Park fishery.

Having carried out earlier habitat enhancements, the club has won funding to purchase and install a large number of fish refuge cages topped with pre-planted reed beds.

The cages will provide fish with much needed shelter, and with careful positioning will give anglers (and particularly juniors) opportunities to practise margin-fishing skills.

The reed beds will also make the lake more attractive, therefore benefitting anglers and other park users.

The club will be working with the Park Friends Group and volunteers from the NHS Angling4Health project to deliver the improvements.

Kingsbury Water Park

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New fish refuges will help protect fish stocks at Kingfisher Pool, Kingsbury Water Park (Warwickshire County Council)
Cormorant predation has caused significant damage to the fishery at Kingsbury Water Park (near Tamworth) and the council cannot continue to spend public money buying fish stock without addressing this problem.

The award from the Improvement Fund will pay for floating fish refuge islands for the pools together with a portable Agrilaser bird scarer.

Volunteers will work with the Park's team of Rangers to construct, install and anchor the refuges.

Once completed, the works will be advertised extensively and feedback will be collected from anglers to ascertain the success of the measures.

Potteries Angling Society

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Safari Lake, Stoke-on-Trent (Potteries Angling Society): fish refuges, marginal planting and new stock will help to protect a once-popular Midlands venue hit by avian predation
As a safe and local fishing venue situated on the edge of a large housing scheme, Safari Lake at Stoke on Trent had traditionally been popular with club members and youngsters.

However the lake has faced heavy predation over the last 18 months by goosanders, resulting in a significant reduction in fish stocks.

The club's award will allow them to install fish refuges and improve marginal planting, and to complement this the Environment Agency has offered a supply of fish at no cost.

Holme Brook Valley Park Angling Club

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Labour MP Toby Perkins supported a recent Open Day hosted by Holme Brook Valley Park Angling Club and received some casting tuition to boot. It worked as he caught a fish!
Holme Brook Valley Park is an urban water situated within the town boundary of Chesterfield Borough Council.

As Phase 2 of its 5-year development plan, the club applied to the Fund for a grant for the purchase of floating reed beds. As well as reducing predation, the club feels that the proximity of the islands will help young anglers to develop casting and accuracy skills.

The Award will also help to pay for a club members to become qualified, licensed coaches.

As well as planning a series of open days, the club is also working with the Borough Council to establish a 'Have a Go' day, where youngsters will be able to try not only angling but also other sports available in the Park. If enough children become enthused by angling, the club is keen to set up a junior section.

Abington Angling Club

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Abington Park Lake, Northampton. Abington AC will be undertaking a number of measures to combat avian predation and crayfish damage at this once notable roach fishery 
Abington Angling Club applied for funding to reverse the impact of fish-eating birds and crayfish at its Abington Park Lake fishery near Northampton.

As recently as six years ago, the water was a noted roach fishery. However surveys conducted by the Environment Agency have indicated a severe depletion in the once healthy silver fish population.

The club will use its funding to purchase 12 fish refuges and will also look at installing spawning boards. The club will also be purchasing crayfish traps under license from the Environment Agency, and volunteers will devote at least 15 hours a week monitoring them.

Funds will also be spent on a boat to help with the placement and management of these items. The local council has granted permission for the felling of a tree used by cormorants for roosting and will cover the cost of this work as a contribution to the project.

Hadleigh & District Angling Society

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Bullocky Fen, Suffolk. Hadleigh and District Angling Society will be erecting otter fencing to protect fish stocks at this much-valued stillwater
Hadleigh and District AS has won an award from the Fund to erect otter-proof fencing at its fishery at Bullocky Fen, Layham, Suffolk.

The club commenced work on the project 18 months ago by clearing a pathway and levelling banks, and is now position to purchase materials and make a start on the fencing proper.

The club is confident of success because where fencing has been installed on its other waters, they have seen stock levels improve and an increase in the quality of fishing, and this in turn has boosted membership as anglers outside the normal recruitment area have joined the club.

Hadleigh and District AS have worked extremely hard to secure funding and other support from a variety of sources to complement grants.

River Eden & District Fisheries Association (REDFA)

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Avian predation on the River Eden catchment: regurgitated contents of cormorant that left the water at speed - sticklebacks from a Carlisle pool
As a large rural catchment in close proximity to an extensive coastline, the River Eden faces a severe threat from cormorant and goosanders and predation of fish stocks was one of the key concerns voiced in the Eden Angler Survey of 2014.

As part of its Area Licence (which covers 10 fisheries/licensees and over 50km of water) REDFA has resumed twice yearly bird counts but is hindered by out of date maps and poor boundary information.

The award from the Fund will be used to produce new updated GIS maps for use by participating clubs and fisheries.

Fishing for trout and grayling on some of the Eden's more exposed and heavily predated waters has reduced noticeably in recent years, but it is hoped this can be reversed as the Area Licence is delivered and fish stocks repopulate.

South Cerney Angling Club

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South Cerney Angling Club in Gloucestershire will merge two stock ponds to create a new coaching lake for young anglers
Situated at the heart of Cotswold Water Park, the taster days put on by South Cerney are always very well attended but the club has struggled to find a suitable facility to deliver coaching to children.

Using its award, the club plans to merge two existing stock ponds into one purpose built coaching lake, and will then install accessible platforms along one bank.

The club will be working closely with the Angling Trust and existing partners, including the Environment Agency, Active Gloucestershire and local schools and scout groups to promote the new facility and deliver more weekly fishing use.

Smithills Angling Club

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Headmaster at Smithills School, Bolton Mr Alec Cottrill presents young pupil Emilo Boaro with his CAST Award and Best Improver trophy, courtesy of the CRT
Through this project Smithills AC, based at Smithills School in Bolton, will work closely with partners including Bolton & District Angling Association, the Canal and Rivers Trust (CRT) and Curley's Fishery to host angling activities for young people and families at a range of safe local venues.

The award will specifically support the purchase of basic coarse and game fishing equipment for loan to young anglers, as well as safety equipment and coaching aids to assist in dry/indoor sessions.

Funding will also be used to train new coaches up to qualified, licensed Level 1 and 2 standard. The club will also link in with other secondary schools in the area to offer taster sessions and help them set up their own angling activities.

CRT is a major partner in the project, providing access to canal facilities, working parties and marketing and promotion. Coaching activities will be backed up by skills awards (CAST and Aim) and Sports Leader qualifications and a key goal will be to signpost young people to other clubs, to ensure their interest in fishing is sustained.

Get Hooked on Fishing (Peterborough)

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A fun day's fishing at Orton Pond, Peterborough, location of a funded project proposed by the charity Get Hooked on Fishing. There is a big demand in the area for family fishing activities
This project aims to increase the number of children and young people in Peterborough taking part in fishing, and satisfy a clear demand from local children and families for angling activities.

At the heart of the project, GHoF will run 4 six-week angling programmes at Orton Pond (a small purpose-built coaching pond owned by Nene Park Trust) covering coarse and lure fishing.

As well as basic fishing skills, the sessions will develop planning, communication and team-working skills, and provide an opportunity for young people to mentor other learners.

The award will be used to purchase coarse and lure fishing tackle sets, plus bait, and to pay for licensed Level 1 and 2 angling coaching.

Building on these programmes, GHoF will then support young anglers to sustain their angling through links with angling clubs, volunteering and coaching opportunities and further session delivery.

Astwood Bank Angling Club

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Support from the Improvement Fund will enable Astwwod Bank AC to repair and replace platforms at its Wood Bevington fishery, making it suitable for junior matches and events
At present Astwood Bank Angling Club in Worcesteshire are unable to host junior matches and events at its Bevington fishery due to the poor state of the platforms on one side of the pool.

The Award will allow the club to repair/replace these and in so doing will complete Phase III of the fishery's redevelopment. The venue will offer children the ability to learn methods aimed at targeting roach, bream, perch, tench, and crucian carp.

The club feels that equipped with these wide-ranging skills, children will be much more likely to remain in angling and perhaps form the next generation of club members.

The club is very committed to this project: the platforms will be installed by a club member who will be giving his services free of charge and club members will carry out the labour tasks. The club will cover the costs of plant hire.

Astwood Bank has one licensed Level 2 coach who is willing to tutor junior members and has offered part-funding to other members towards the costs of their Level 1 coach training costs.

Ayton Angling Association

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The award won by Ayton Angling Association will go to improve coaching capacity and facilities at its Larners Lake fishery in North Yorkshire
Ayton Angling Association, located in North Yorkshire, is becoming more and more involved with scout groups and local schools and offers drastically reduced fees for junior members and students.

The club presently has 8 Volunteer Champions, four of whom are taking a Level 1 coach training course. Part of the club's award will help pay for two of these volunteers to take their Level 2 qualification later in the year.

A proportion of the award will also help the club improve facilities at its Larners Lake, in particular to install a compostable toilet, putting the club in a better a position to apply for 'Fishmark' accreditation. Once complete, the project will allow Larners Lake to become one of the most accessible trout fisheries in the area with good parking, toilet facilities and disabled access, supported by a number of qualified licensed coaches.

The club also hopes to offer the water to Talent Pathway projects run by other coaches with junior learners. Significantly, the improvements will not only support Ayton AA, but will also assist events run in conjunction with neighbouring Hutton Rudby Fly Fishing Club, which won funding for river-based habitat improvement work in Round 1 of the Fund.

Gipping Valley Angling Club

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Gipping Valley Angling Club in Suffolk will be undertaking various works to bring Maypole Farm Lake up to standard for junior coaching activities. The new car park is ready to be started. This photo shows club members with the digger driver and landowner
Gipping Valley AC (GVAC) works with local schools and runs popular 'Fish Club' sessions most weekends. Its success coaching young anglers in Suffolk is nationally acclaimed and many of the Suffolk County anglers competing at National level come from the club.

The club has a proven record of empowering youngsters and many go on to join GVAC and to represent the club on its Committee.

The club's Maypole Farm Lake fishery is only 5-10 minutes drive from the large market town of Stowmarket and is rich in wildlife.

It offers huge potential for junior angling development (and is in reach of three high schools in the town) but sadly the venue is presently too hazardous to use for coaching.

The award will change all this: funding will help pay for re-sloping gradients, expanding the size of existing platforms, clearing trees for better access and visibility and to make a new car parking area. The club has a history of delivery on similar projects and will work closely with the Angling Trust to market the facility and increase attendance.

High resolution versions of these images for journalists are available from the Fund Manager Rick Warner at

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