Minutes of Consultative Meeting held on 20th Oct 2021

Present    Oliver Smith. Ray Richardson, David Hawley, Kelvin Allen,  Seumas Halliday, John Wadham, Martin Barnett, Chris Reeds, , Paul Thomas (AT) Brian Balderson, Andrew Pattison & Don Moore

Apologies Hugh Bunker, Darren Randell Viktor Tzikas, Ray Torrington, Chris French

Matters arising from the previous meeting

Darren agreed to distribute a listing of vacant EA riverine fisheries across the area. This hasn’t been completed.

Regional/National AT update.

Kelvin presented the following:


An update on recent new positions within AT supporting the region, funded through the national support contract with the EA.

Two new region development officers working to James Roche

Tom Humphreys (East Anglia) Tel 07808 779470  email tom.humphreys@anglingtrust.net

David Munt (North East)

Two new Environment Officers working to Emily Smith

Andy Chadwick (South)  Tel 07846251826 Email Andrew.chadwick@anglingtrust.net

Ian Doyle (North)

Kelvin then highlighted some of the work both he and David are taking part in the wider Water Resources East program looking at strategic water demand and supply strategy.

This has scoped a deficient of over 1500 million litres per day by 2050 across East Anglia. So any thoughts of our rivers over abstracted now, means a complete reformation of the whole way we treat and manage water in the  UK. Some presentations from WRE are available on the following link.


Kelvin presented some of the key findings of the recent survey compared with the previous survey undertaken in 2016. This was one of the reference tools used to evaluate the objectives of the project by the HLF.

When compared with the initial survey carried out in 2016, two key questions focus on the objectives of the project and there are some marked changes in scoring.

Integration of anglers

Question 2016 “The nearest angling club to me welcomes anglers from elsewhere in Europe”

Rating average of 2.7 out of 5

Question 2021 “Improved relations with migrate anglers”

Rating average of 3.8 out of 5 (a 42% improvement)


Perception of understanding regulations (Rating average)

Question 2016  “Do you perceive that those from continental Europe were less likely to adhere to regulations and bylaws” Rating average of 1.7 out of 5

Question 2021 “ Improved knowledge of angling rules and byelaws”

Rating average of 3.3 out of 5  (a 105% improvement)

Question 2021 “Improved abiding of rules and byelaws”

Rating average of 3.8 out of 5 (a 125% improvement)

The original survey didn’t explore details such as education and coaching specifically, but its very evident these activities have succeeded in driving a change in attitude from home grown anglers and engaged many younger new anglers and their parents into fishing, across communities.


Question 2016 “Improved take up by Junior Anglers”

Only 1.6% of respondents where Juniors or engaged in Juniors.

A positive rating average of 3.7 out of 4 in 2021


Question 2021 “Wide community engagement” via Coaching

Rating average of4.2 out of 5  (equivalent to 84%)

In 2016 we didn’t specifically ask the same question, but 36% stated some community engagement happened.


So despite people consistently stating on social media, that illegal and poaching continues at pace. The reality shows something quite different and an actual improvement in people’s perceptions and attitudes towards European anglers overall.


Yes, there is a small minority who do break the rules, but clearly the program has made some significant headway in both club and junior engagement from where it was in 2016 in the way communities integrate.  With the active clubs continuing to develop their own wider programs for schools, communities and the less able, a true positive legacy for Nenescape.


EA Update

Sadly the EA couldn’t put a representative forward to attend tonight.

Paul Thomas however gave a detailed insight into enforcement actives and what now turns out to be almost zero warranted officers available across Northants and Lincs, due to staff off long term sick.

Paul Thomas then gave a update on enforcement from the Angling Trust perspective for the area and region. In terms of the VBS it continues at strength and in the last quarter has recorded 11 incidents from 235 patrols covering some 633 hours of voluntary effort. He highlighted the areas that AT now correlate their own intelligence reports across England  and that areas around Spalding and Boston have the greatest issues.

Within Northants and Lincs, these issues have been aided by great support from the respective police forces with 9 successful prosecutions brought by the CPS and police for what are affectively fisheries offences, which should be managed by the Environment Agency.  Paul gave the sorry tale that sadly ¾ of the warranted officers in the Northants and Lincs area are off long term sick and as such there is little agency enforcement activity happening. It has been subject to some escalation already and David Hawley has agreed to arrange a meeting with Thomas Enright to discuss options. Action DH

Kelvin highlighted  that this intelligence is nothing new as 6-7 years back when the agency did produce enforcement  and intelligence reports, the same area’s were highlighted then. Action KA to locate archive reports from 2014-5. See links below.



(Post meeting Helen Smith from East Anglia has stated that they have agreed to support the area for Cat 1 priority incidents as much as they can, with regional FEO officers down from 6 to 4.)

Welland Catchment Report

Chris sent his apologies and offered the following report.


Club Updates

Seamus & Don – Mid Nothants Fly Fishes

Don also reported that AWS aren’t requiring anglers to produce a valid rod licence to obtain day tickets at their venues. Action  JW to raise at a future AWS liaison meeting.

Seumas coaching report is available here. and the club update here


Ray – Deeping St James

He reported their membership was stable after the peak of 2020

They have significant erosion issues on their main lake fishery

They are using some unique technology to automate water quality readings to provide early warnings of low DO and temperatures following some fish health issues in which they received excellent support from the Brampton Fish labs.


Brain – Boston

Brian hightlighted the continuing issues with enforcement that Paul already mentioned. Significant weed issues continued this year on all the drains. Kelvin suggested that Brian discusses the issue with Andy Chadwick from AT.


Stillwater Reports

John provided a compressive update to the meeting as attached. He highlighted the recent study in invertebrates undertaken and how the ecology of the reservoir has evolved over time.  Kelvin thought this was of some interest given the wider scientific papers on lake ecology and Natural England’s attempts to blame fish. Kelvin suggested John makes to data available to Emily Smith Environment Lead at AT and also the IFM.  Action JW

Johns Report Here


Oliver – Edge Angling

This was Oliver’s first meeting representing his club which runs a fishery at Wicksteed Park. He found the meeting really interesting and will come more prepared for the next meeting.


Andrew – Nene Anglers

He highlighted some issues with poaching and agreed that Paul Thomas will come and discuss with the club committee.


Martin – Fishing the Welland

Martin is working the WRT on the potential to develop fishing on the Burley Estate.


AOB None

The date of our next meeting:

19th Jan 2022

File Type: pdf
Categories: NWWCA
Author: Kelvin Allen