Welcome to the eighteenth Bainton Fisheries Newsletter, which is designed to keep you informed about the Fishery, in terms of news during the last season, future events and issues.
Membership 2017 – 2018
All permits for 2017/18 were sold last year, the demand for dawn to disk tickets has decreased slightly. As discussed at the 2017 members meeting to keep income up there could be a 2:1 conversion of a few tickets. So four extra 24 tickets were sold to replace 8 dawn til dusk tickets. The owner felt that this had led to a noticeably busier complex and ideally would like to go back to the old profile of members. As usual new members will only be accepted in place of existing members who do not renew by the deadline. Membership numbers will be fixed again for the coming season.
Members should only refer another member if they can personally vouch for their character and confirm they have not been asked to leave other fisheries. Referrals, due to demand should also be sent back promptly.
Operating profits have been spent on the usual running costs in 17/18; insurance, bank costs, bailiffing, contract labour, plant hire, aggregate, swim building materials, postage and accountancy costs. It was also noted that 70% of renewals were by online bank transfer and 15% by card payment on-line, very few people paid via cheque.
It has been necessary to raise costs in 18/19, please see later for an explanation.
For 2018 – 2019 the prices are:-
• Non-fishing Permit: – £32.00
• Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £285.00
• 24-Hour Permit: – £485.00
• Keys will remain at £10.00
The renewal deadline is 8th May 2018 and this year there is no requirement to return a key if members leave Bainton Fisheries. (see later)
Fishery Maintenance and Development
Last year a working party weekend was held on the 1st and 2nd April 2017. The required work was the repair of swims along the Maxey Cut bank of the Orchid pit and the pulling out of trees around the L shape that were hanging in the water.
Working party dates
In 2018 there will be 2 working parties, the fishery is closed to fishing on all lakes from 9am on Saturday the 28th April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 29th April to 5pm. Anglers are more than welcome to fish nights outside of these hours, however they must remove their equipment to a safe distance during the day.
The required work so far identified will be to create parking spaces inside the Otter Fence along the South Bank of the L Shape, spray excessive reed growth with Roundup from a boat and general gardening, especially ensuring there is no substantive vegetation within 2 metres of the outside of the otter fence. The precise plan of works for the weekend will be sent out via Facebook nearer the time with tools to bring.
Feedback from Members Meeting
The eighteenth members’ meeting was held at the Tallington Lakeside Bar on 7th March 2018.
• There was an update on membership, including the trend to more and more online payments. There had been no stocking prior to the members meeting mainly because all expenditure had been directed towards paying for the otter fence bill.
• The guest ticket status was discussed as a member had proposed an item for discussion about longer guest tickets and to include night fishing. After a members discussion it was felt due to bankside pressure and being a syndicate fishery, the existing scheme should be left unchanged.
• The otter fence was discussed, the owner stated so far there had been no otter breaches noted and that as long as members kept the gates secured and that no trees breached the fence it seemed to be working. However constant vigilance was required. The double gates on the main track were discussed as it was felt that the design placed all of the inconvenience on the anglers and none on the Welland and Deepings Drainage Board. It was agreed that the owner would meet with the Board seek an agreement to remove the gates so that the South and Middle zone were all one. Hopefully the two gates could be redeployed to allow tractor access to the Board elsewhere to the dyke. Deer were also heavily cutting through this section between the gates and making the track very muddy. (Post Meeting Note: A new plan has been agreed and the gates will now be placed along the track rather than across it. Embryo have been booked to undertake the work and a date is being sought, but it is likely to be the Summer).
The owner confirmed that the final invoice for the otter fence had been £94,620 which was finally paid in October 2017. Most of the cost remains subject to a loan to the fishery which the increase in membership fees in 2017 is repaying. The plan to repay the fence over seven years still looks viable, six years to go! The owner wanted to thank members for remaining loyal to Bainton Fisheries despite the increase well above inflationary costs in 2017.
• Another member question was also discussed with regards to using “siltex” to reduce silt on the back pit. The owner had looked into this and about 25 tonnes twice a year would be required to treat the Back Pit on an annual basis. Based on an initial quotation this would be an annual cost of circa £4,000. Members felt that they would rather commit funds to other items the fishery required and some members had also stated that their experience on large waters were that it made very little difference.
• The main track again was discussed, the owner had stated that apart from the bailiff and a couple of retired members, potholing as a group activity had not been successful. The owner also needed the Bailiff to concentrate on Predation control and compliance, not potholing. The track was continuing to deteriorate and that eventually it would need to be relayed. Options were to pay someone to pothole over the winter period while fishery funds could reach a level to have a new track laid, or lay as much new track as could be afforded in a year, but this could take 3 years, or again fully fund the project and borrow some more money. There was a good discussion about all the possible options and materials used, worst case scenario this could be a £10,000 project to cover 1500 metres of track and 4500 square metres of area as a minimum. It was agreed that the owner would consult further with suppliers and with members who were knowledgeable in groundworks and road laying and make a decision about the way forward before the price of renewals is set. The idea would be to try and minimise cost as much as possible but ensure there was a sustainable solution going forward. But unfortunately no solution would be without a cost impact.
• The owner informed the membership that the Abloy padlock on the main gate had gone end of life and that no new keys could be cut. There was also the intention to lock most of the external gates to the fishery which was agreed by the membership at the meeting. This would be either side of the Bailey Bridge, the far West of the L shape and the East end of the L Shape. The cost of the project would be approximately £2300 and all members would need new keys. It was also stated that the key pattern had not changed for at least 15 years, therefore it was likely there were keys in circulation belonging to non-members, so it was time to change. Unfortunately there could not be refunds for old key patterns as this would cost too much for members. The owner has been assured that the replacement model padlock would be supported for the next 35 years by the supplier.
• Rules were discussed and no rule changes were proposed.
A note from the Bird Ringer……
2018 will see my 25th year of involvement with ringing at Bainton and how things have changed over the years. My first ever visit was memorable as I was met by Richard Wakeling who handed me a small white bag containing a bird with the words ‘Good morning. Have you ringed a Nightingale?’ Ringed one? I’d never even seen one – and neither have a lot of birdwatchers – as they are a secretive bird, not a great looker if you do catch a glimpse – but are blessed with the most glorious song. I can see why poets over the centuries have waxed lyrical about them and you too, I hope, have enjoyed listening to them. Mind you, on my first visit to the site in 2017 as I stepped out of the car at my usual spot I was greeted by a Nightingale in full flow and a fisherman, also in full flow, snoring like a good ‘un!
Amongst the many changes to the site has been the slow demise of the Nightingale. Nationally their numbers have been sliding downwards and Bainton is no exception. The reasons why are not fully understood but clearly changes to the habitat, climate and problems where they overwinter in Africa all no doubt contribute. The reedbed here has also slowly been overtaken by encroaching willow and this dries out and pushes reed out of the way. I can clearly remember years ago emerging from the reeds with many tens of Reed and Sege Warblers in bags round my neck. These days I’m lucky to catch one or two of each species in a full year although, to be fair, I don’t ring in there anymore. Talking of which, as I’ve now reached the biblical three score years and ten I’ve decided it’s time to re-think how I ring here so my thoughts at present are tending towards a few nets in the reeds and few on the dry scrub.
Whilst some species have declined, others have done really well. Over the 25 years, Song Thrush numbers have both crashed and then recovered once again. Blackcap and Chiffchaff are doing OK whilst both Lesser and Common Whitethroat numbers ebb and flow a bit. The whole point of the Constant Effort Site ringing I do here is to monitor trends in our bird populations and year on year variations are to be expected given the number of factors impacting on them, not least of which is the weather. The recent wet summers have not really helped too much and I’d really like to see a ‘normal’ summer with those long, warm days so they can get a good year’s breeding in.
One new species to turn up has been Cetti’s Warbler. You may hear its explosive song blasting out at you from somewhere in the depths of the undergrowth. If you see one, they look a bit like a Wren on steroids. They didn’t breed in Britain until the late 1970s and they’ve spread fairly randomly up from the south coast. Two juveniles ringed by me here have continued the same pattern being caught by ringers in Wales and Yorkshire. If one of these fascinating birds had been around 25 years ago – and the news had got out – the place would have been inundated by twitchers, a term universally applied by the media to anyone remotely interested in birds and one that drives me up the wall as twitchers are folk almost obsessed with seeing as many species as they can and often travelling literally hundreds of miles to do so. Not for me thanks very much and not for the majority of birdwatchers. My rule here is simply that if I ever catch anything really rare I tell the powers that be here first and they can decide what to do with the information.
What will the next quarter century bring? Who knows but I’m sure you’ll still enjoy your fishing as much as I will the birds – whilst stocks last as they say.
Chris Hughes (Bird Ringer)
Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.