Minutes of Consultative Meeting held on 27 Oct 2018

Present    John Wadham, Viktor Tzikas, Brian Balderson, Andy Beal, Chris Reeds, Howard Neal, Ivor Stokes, John Newman, Seumas Halliday, David Hawley, Mick Dimmock, Darren Randall.

Apologies   Ray Torrington, Ray Richardson, Kelvin Allen, Simon Bonney, Mark Fox, Hugh Bunker,

David welcomed Darren to the meeting.

Matters arising from 9th June meeting

The dialogue between PDAA and NPT is ongoing but the large dead tree used by cormorants has been removed.

No word on the South Forty Foot sustainable abstraction project yet. Action David to raise with Manfai Tang.

PDAA  has been successful in their Angling Improvement Grant bid.

BDAA had held the first of their lure fishing competitions which had been very successful with 30+ anglers catching 500+ perch.

Both MNTF and Northampton had attended the rearranged Kelmarsh Show and attracted good numbers or prospective new anglers.

Regional/National AT update.

Kelvin provided the following update:

14.4% drop in rod licence sales

Ammonia Nitrate 2nd pollution in Billingford Norfolk 50,000 litres. Is the environment protection regulations sufficient, ongoing discussions between AT and NFU on this.

VBS Phase 2 – Discussed at the National Freshwater Committee and all regional chairs supported the need. Now awaiting outcomes from NAS contract renewal.

Grantham Forum now planned for Feb-Mar 2019

Cambridge Forum 14th Nov.


Kelvin provided the following update

£35,000 granted in year 1, with £45,000 in volunteer effort

Coaching Events – Nearly 500 attendees with 177 Participants

Average attendance at these events is 58 people with 35 participants taking an active part in being coached.

Events held in Peterborough, Wellingborough and Corby, with a focus on bringing together communities, both parents and children.

VBS engagement some of the best in England. We have exceeded our annual voluntary hours by 20%. Indeed in the last 6 months we exceeded this by 38%

182 signs designed and delivered to 15 clubs

Year 2 now being planned with focus on a club support program and contractual tender for the delivery of a structured coaching program.

A series of 6 predator matches being held at Ferry Meadows/River Nene Oct – Dec in partnership with PDAA

More Polish schools in Northampton, Kettering and Wisbech engaged.

Fishery management plan for Ferry Meadows, to include predation from Jake Davoile.

Cormorant Issues

The meeting noted that anglers had not really engaged with the Angling Trusts Cormorant Watch initiative which reduced the Trusts ability to influence the government on the damage that cormorants were doing to fisheries nationally. Indeed figures suggest that the annual permitted cull of 3000 birds had not been met.

However members indicated that these birds were having a significant impact on commercial fisheries in the Nene catchment with the potential to impact on smaller and rarer birds such as kingfishers.

John had produced a number of papers (Cormorant 1) (Cormorant 2) (Cormorant Paper) that demonstrate the extent of the ongoing predation which was supported by counts done at Ringstead  fishery over many years. The group felt that a key issue was a severe underestimate of cormorant numbers. Members felt there may be some merit in carrying out a cormorant count at the same time/day on affected waters. It was suggested that Jake Davoile may be able to provide guidance. Action.  Jake to be invited to the next meeting. It was suggested that Voluntary bailiffs might be able to assist with counts. Action David to raise with Paul Thomas.

Anglian Water has been recording cormorant damage to trout over many years and John has their records. Action  John to ask AW what if anything they did with the data at his next liaison meeting.

Catchment Update and Enforcement Report.

Hugh provided an update on the work of the FBG team that can be viewed here.

It was clear that the EA had done an excellent job of saving fish at many locations during the long hot summer. It was also pleasing to note that other teams besides fisheries had been involved. Brian reported on the excellent cooperation between BDAA and Ops Delivey which had helped reduce the impact of weed growth on the Bargate Drain facilitating angling that normally would not have been possible. Action. David to write to the Area Manager expressing our thanks.

Due to pressing operational work the enforcement report was lacking in detail but this would follow. Action Hugh.

There is an opportunity for up to 10 members to visit the EA fish disease lab at Brampton. Action Names to David by the end of the month.

Simon, by email also reported the following work aligned to Water Framework Directive.

The river restoration project on the Welland at Ashley started last week. Led by Wild Trout Trust, it will restore 1 km of river from its canalised current form. We can’t re-create the meanders, so it’s all in-channel re-profiling work, riffles etc.  Pre-survey on the entire length found 2 fish! The contractors should be off site within 4 weeks. James Hooker should be up to speed on this if he is attending.

 Water Environment Grant:

Most submitted applications ( x9 )  in Welland & Nene made it through the QA and minimum required score which is pleasing, but this does not mean that they will all get funding. The available funding pot over 3 years is £27 million, the total amount applied for nationally was £85 million.  Quite a few projects did not make the grade so the £85 million applied for will in effect be less, but still over-subscribed. All applicants have been written to either with outright rejection letters or where projects have made the grade, letters asking for more  information before any final award decision is made, no doubt to further prioritise the spend. Welland & Nene catchments appeared to have been more successful so far than most.

I am attending the Nene Backwaters steering group later this week so will get to speed with progress / spend on that then, but hopefully Viktor will attend your meeting.

Geoff Gilfillian unfortunately is leaving the Welland River Trust, as his wife has a job down in Cambridge. He has been a godsend, so will be a big loss. I think he must be up to about @£14k in external funding in about 18 months so far, mostly from Tesco’s, and is driving forward the river warden volunteer scheme on the Welland, having engaged communities all the way down. He leaves this and 2,500 trees planted as a legacy. It is rare to find someone with such people & engagement skills. WRT are advertising.

We will be advertising a 2 – 3 year Natural Flood Management assignment post from next week do relieve me of the large volume of enquiries I see now from landowners in W & N which unfortunately I can’t follow up due to the “day job”. It will be part funded by WEIF Capital ( Environment Programme ) and FCRM, but report to me. Part of their time will be spent on Wootton Brook, delivering a draft NFM project that FCRM have had DEFRA funding for as part of a national pilot. It is very encouraging that we are getting the number of pro-active enquiries that we are though I know for sure that some landowners are looking to a post Brexit environment on this.

The Werrington Brook Project in Peterborough is in its penultimate year, with the delivery of improvements to Cuckoo Hollow Lake itself next year. Last week it was the sole recipient of a Highly Commended Award at the Annual British Construction Industry Awards in the Infrastructure Maintenance category, up against bigger projects up to £10 million. Andy Sadler, my PM, deserves much credit for this, but I couldn’t run to the £500 ticket cost for the event for him!

Stillwater Reports

Both John and Seumas reported on difficult conditions for trout fishing during the summer but popular coaching events had continued at both Pitsford and Rutland. For more detail view John’s report here.

John also highlighted the latest recruit into the Building Bridges Team, Janusz Kansik and provided an overview of “Johnny” here.

Club Updates

There was a discussion about the smaller angling clubs that were struggling to survive in the modern age due in large part to declining membership and difficulty in changing to meet new challenges. It was felt that the Consultative was in a position to support these clubs providing they could be persuaded to join. It was agreed that all members should act as ambassadors for the group. Action All to reach out to smaller clubs and encourage them to join.

Forward Look

John Ellis would be presenting on the work of the Canal and Rivers Trust at the next meeting and we would also be discussing a way forward with cormorants.



The date of the next meeting is 19th January 2019.

File Type: pdf
Categories: NWWCA
Author: Kelvin Allen