Monday, 15 April 2013

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Chalk and cheese!

Saturday comes and goes rather too quickly these days and as usual it comes with a liberal dose of the wet stuff that lasted until lunchtime, as a result I was confined to my few square feet of shelter under the brolly.

By lunchtime that yellow disc in the sky, so rarely seen in the last few years began to shine, albeit on an intermittent basis and the afternoon looked like a pleasant prospect. However after around an hour of freedom to move around, that often harbinger of doom my mobile phone rang and conveyed the almost inevitable bad news.

Les H had spotted a 4x4 with a caravan attached down at the swim known as the graveyard opposite St Marys Churchyard. Now this is the area where a small tarmac road meanders down to the lochside and is a favourite spot with picnickers and occasional anglers. The area was closed off to vehicles a number of years ago due to the obscene amounts of litter being left, spoiling the beautiful countryside.

A sturdy barrier set into the tarmac with concrete, closes off the road which would suggest to most rational and reasonable people, that vehicular access to this area is denied, Anglers and campers/picnickers can however still use the area by simply walking the thirty or forty metres down to the lochside.

Another day’s fishing ruined, I contacted Peter (the loch keeper) and we headed along curious to see how such a vehicle had got down to the lochside. It almost defies belief, the miscreants had circumvented the barrier and rolled over the banking with their caravan in tow to get down to camp. Now I’m not against anyone having fun by any means, but I firmly believe that the property and wishes of our riparian owners should be respected.

What right do these feckless individuals have to impinge upon and deface the property of others?

Not content with the initial transgression they also came equipped with a large amount of wood to maintain what could only be described as a bonfire set on a fresh piece of grass which will result in yet another burnt area on what once was a nicely grassed area.

The most staggering point of this fiasco was that the perpetrators could not see that they had done anything wrong! In their view it was acceptable to blunder onto another’s property, scar the landscape and then head back to from whence they came leaving others to deal with the fallout.

As they were campers and not anglers there was not a great deal we could do as they refused to move on. We will however be contacting the landowner and if he is agreeable we will erect concrete posts to prevent this occurring again.

These are exactly the type of people who are not welcome in the countryside with their devil may care attitude. It inevitably falls to the custodians of the area in this case the angling club, to clean up after these vagabonds have done their deeds and to be quite frank its now wearing a bit thin! If it were up to me louts such as above would never again be allowed to set foot in this most scenic area!

As leaseholders of the fishing on the lochs it is our duty to keep the area as clean as it can be, and we will challenge these reckless devotees of Muppetry wherever and whenever we encounter them and we would urge all other users of the countryside to take a zero tolerance approach with regard to these reprobates.

At present the beauty of the countryside is available for all to savour, Muppets such as those mentioned will have that access restricted in short order!

This small section of the population are devoid of moral value, it is up to decent individuals everywhere to either educate them in the first instance or ultimately banish them from our areas of countryside!

The right to roam responsibly is one thing, the desecration of the countryside is quite another!

The saving point of the day was meeting up with the advance party of a group of lads from RA 24 PAC Northumberland; the main body arrive today (Sunday).
They were all enjoying the camaraderie and the ambience of the surroundings in spite of the persistent rain in the morning. A hard fighting 8lbs fish on arrival in super condition was bagged and got their day off on the right footing, unfortunately they lost a couple of good fish later on but hey that’s fishing!

I was surprised to receive a call from them at lunchtime desperately seeking to purchase their permits, as the loch keeper had not come round yet.
I was able to put their minds at rest as the loch keeper was doing a “late” today and they soon obtained their permits.

How refreshing their behaviour and attitude, when compared to the "do as you like" Neds previously mentioned.

Two distinct groups, Neds and respectful decent anglers.

To the Neds - please don’t come back you and your kind are not welcome at the lochs, and to the anglers - hope you enjoyed your visit lads and come back anytime you like, you are most welcome!
Chalk and cheese indeed!Ps hope the weather was kind to you, where I was today it was atrocious!

Loch keeper.

Peter our new loch keeper has settled in well and has already made good contact with the anglers he has encountered. With a vibrant firm but fair attitude he is maximising revenue to the club. His dual language capability was again required on Saturday when a couple of right minded Polish anglers arrived seeking permits. Peter conversed with them at length highlighting the standards required of them.

The future does indeed look rosy unless of course you are an illegal angler!

Anglers seeking an early start should phone Peter to make suitable arrangements his contact details are as follows.
Home - 01750 423290
Mobile – 07907531605


Anonymous said...
Yes this happens all over the country. As you have correctly pointed out its up to decent individuals to take a stance against these "Neds". Glad they werent anglers! The huge fire you mention is all too common and one day will lead to a disaster. Fires should be banned full stop.
Anonymous said...
I live in the area and the scenario you mention is not uncommon. It is good to see the fishing club taking a more pro active stance with regard to this vandalism of the environment. In past times the club would appear to have just ignored such occurrences, I sincerely hope you continue to take a hard line with these individuals whether they are anglers or not.My apologies for my anonimity it is for obvious reasons.
Hello Anon, sorry for the delay in getting back to you. It is a depressing situation indeed, and you are quite correct if the ordinary decent people do not take this on board and challenge these people access to the countryside could end up being more restricted.
Occasional anglers (the term is used in the loosest sense) do behave like this, but at least we can bar them from returning. The problem is not restricted to any one group hence the need for a coordinated approach to dealing with the situation. Fires (small) are acceptable for cooking etc, but what escapes these morons is that if such a fire were set on the shingle bank there would be no trace of it in a few days whereas if it is set on grass a lasting reminder exists for a time. We are reluctant to ban small fires as many of our Pike anglers who fish in minus temperatures during the winter are extremely glad of one when the fingers turn blue. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and our new loch keeper Peter will be of great assistance to us in this matter.
Hello Anon, we are trying to curb this type of behaviour you rightly describe as vandalism on the environment. With anglers we can lay sanction against them, with campers it is more difficult. I think we will approach a few countryside agencies to see if they could be of help and of course if any readers can offer advice we would be very glad to hear from you.
I don’t think that the club ignored such events in the past, in previous years the club was much less vibrant compared to now, had less members, were of a higher age group possibly with more reserved views, and the area now attracts more visitors than previously (I speak from an angling standpoint). I believe the extraneous circumstances to be much changed from previous years and that the club did not in any way shirk their responsibilities in regard to these wider factors.
We are committed to deal with all such instances which arise from the increased visitor numbers to the area since ultimately it is the club which has engendered this scenario. We would of course be very grateful for advice and assistance with these matters, and as is usual in club matters the work mostly falls to the willing horses and our stable is not well populated at the present time. If I remember correctly three horses at the last count two of who live 60 and 75miles away! We would very much like to encourage more local anglers and if anyone thinks they would like to give this rewarding hobby a go please get in touch you would not require any tackle as in the first instance we would lend out tackle to you.
You will probably have noticed our new loch keeper Peter on your travels, he will be our eyes and ears for the most part and we look to the future with some optimism.
Your anonymity is not a problem; we understand your reasons for so doing, you are to be commended for taking the time to write in with your valid points. Many thanks for your views!

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