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Bainton Fisheries Bird Ringing Summary 2017

The annual bird ringing summary from Chris Hughes is now available and can be downloaded here.


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2018 Member Newsletter

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)

And Finally…….
Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.

Ian Wakeford


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Bainton Fisheries Bird Ringing Summary 2016

The annual bird ringing summary from Chris Hughes is now available and can be downloaded here.


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2017 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the seventeenth 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 2016 – 2017
All permits for 2016/17 were sold last year, again the demand for 24 hour tickets was so high that not even all sponsored members were able to obtain their desired ticket. Some settled for a Dawn-till-Dusk ticket with a view to hopefully upgrading in 17/18. 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 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 16/17; insurance, bank costs, bailiffing, contract labour, plant hire, aggregate, swim building materials, postage and accountancy costs.

It has been necessary to raise costs in 17/18, please see later for an explanation.

For 2017 – 2018 the prices are:-
• Non-fishing Permit: – £21.50
• Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £265.00
• 24-Hour Permit: – £455.00
• Keys will remain at £10.00

Fishery Maintenance and Development
Last year a working party weekend was held on the 23rd and 24th April. The required work was erection of a fence along the Maxey Cut Bank of the Orchid Pit, hard-core repairs to some tracks, swim repair on the Bailey Bridge Pit and the extraction of a Tree from the L Shape. Reeds were also cut on the New Pit.

Working party dates
In 2017 there will be 2 working parties, the fishery is closed to fishing on all lakes from 9am on Saturday the 1st April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 2nd April to 5pm. It is slightly early than usual, due to Easter falling in the middle of April. 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 will be the extraction of about a dozen trees from the L Shape Pit, some swim repairs to assist with parking on the L shape and swim repairs on the Orchid along Maxey Cut bank. The precise plan of works for the weekend will be sent out via Facebook nearer the time.

The most useful tools to bring will also be notified but the tree removal could be supported by members who have a chainsaw and who have protective clothing, chest waders, sledgehammers and shovels. Please stay tuned for further information.

Feedback from Members Meeting
The seventeenth members’ meeting was held at the Tallington Lakeside Bar on 20th February 2017.
• There was an update on membership, including the trend to more and more online payments but also cash. There had been no stocking prior to the members meeting, there have been discussions with the National Crucian Carp Conservation project with regards to converting the Bailey Bridge Pit to hold this species (again). The owner had been directed for support to the Environment Agency and attempts were still being made to get a response from them.
• Predation and poaching was discussed, cormorants have not been as numerous in 2016 and the 50 crank brackets along the Maxey Cut Bank seem to have deterred fishery poachers over the last year.
• Otters were then discussed, at the fishery. They have not had a great presence since the first one was spotted in 2012 along Maxey Cut. Although this winter we had our first carp kill by an otter. They are becoming more problematic in the local area. The fishery has looked at this in the past and the cost coupled with restrictions from other agencies have always been a problem. Therefore it has been considered that for Bainton Fisheries it has not been practicable or financially viable to fence the whole complex with regards to the stock loss value versus the cost to fence. At the meeting it was explained that balance now seems to be tipping in favour of fencing, as costs are becoming lower and with the increase in neighbouring fisheries being fenced, the unfenced fisheries will be targeted. The owner wanted to share with members the full impact of a proposal for the members to consider and listen to views with regards to the proposal. A video was shown of using Embryo Angling who are a charity who install at cost, the fence design they use, the visual impact of their design and the disruption of the install. A fencing plan was also shared with members which created three fenced zones; a South zone to include the New Pit, Big Pit and Stock Pond. A central zone to include the L Shape and Orchid Pit, a Northern Zone for the Carp Pit and Bailey Bridge Pit. The Match Pit could not be fenced by machine so is currently outside of the scheme.

• Depending on whether otters continue to visit this pit it may have to be fenced manually at a later point. The formal quotes of the three zones were also shared with members including VAT, the costs are likely to be in the region of £93,000 for 4.8km of fencing around the site. Members were asked for their reaction and support was gauged. All members were in support of fencing the fishery and accepted that a plan to pay the fence off over seven years, from a loan to the Fishery, this would keep the cost down to about £70 per member per year. The owner stated that the plans were still being developed but hoped what was agreed could be honoured. Follow up meetings with the EA, Drainage Board, Peterborough City Council and National Grid were all needed. A further site visit from Embryo was also required to fine tune the fence route.
• With an increase in cost it was asked if it was likely that day anglers would leave the fishery. The owners stated that it was a risk that we could have day tickets unfilled and huge demand still for 24 hour tickets. The owner was asked if he would then just sell more 24 hour tickets to cover the cost. The answer was that this was not the desired outcome, and if it had to happen then 2 day tickets would be withdrawn to offset each 24 hour ticket if they cannot be sold. Thus keeping the impact the same on the fishery.
• The main road through the complex was also discussed, as no money had been spent on stocking this year. Members were asked if they would value the main track re-laying so that potholes did not re-occur. The owner also stated that he wanted the Bailiff to concentrate his efforts on vermin control and not potholing, thus potholes were likely to increase.

Members felt that they would rather spend the money on contributing towards the otter fence and that they would all take a few minutes to fill potholes as they leave the fishery, using a bucket or small shovel. Therefore it was agreed that that would be the arrangement going forward.
• Baitboats were discussed at length. The discussion did expose a significant dissatisfaction of anglers either not sticking to the existing rules, or fishing spots that would not be considered safe. The current rules were looked at again at the meeting to see if they were adequate. Rule 12 governs Baitboats, it states;
• Bait boats are permitted but they must be used within the following framework:-
a) to use the boat in water that you can actually safely cast to from your swim keeping out of un-castable sanctuary areas and
b) to only use it within an area which would be considered to be the swim area, (i.e. not intruding on another swim’s fishing area and
c) not to exceed a maximum distance of 120 metres and
d) not introducing risk of loss of fish by proximity to snags.

A vote was taken regarding what the issue was, the vast majority of members felt that the rules were fair, but it was the compliancy to the rules that was the issue, very few people wanted to ban baitboats but they did not want anglers to cheat or gain advantage over anglers using rod and line to cast nor undertake unsafe practices such as fishing over thick weed beds or next to snags. It was agreed that a strong message would be sent to baitboat users that only absolute compliancy with rules would be tolerated and that the rules are a maximum framework not a target to aim for. Pre marking 33 wraps (120 metres) on a line would enable a member or bailiff to see immediately if that range was being fished at. This was felt to be a useful suggestion.

All other rules were accepted as needing no further adjustment.

Post Meeting Otter Fence Update.

Following on from the members meeting it is anticipated that ground clearance work will begin in late March 2017 for the fence, with fence installation to take place in late April to Early June. It will be necessary to fence along the dyke bank of the L shape at a distance of 5 metres from the top of the dyke. Gates will be put alongside of swims to allow for parking of cars and fishing. It is hoped that elsewhere all other banks will be fenced outside of the tracks allowing free movement inside the fence.

A note from the Bird Ringer……

JUST ABOUT HANGING ON
The title could apply to me as well as my favourite bird, the Nightingale, and its status at Bainton. In my latest summary on ringing at Bainton I commented that it’s not so many years ago that I would have up to 27 captures in a summer, some being the same birds caught on more than one occasion. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I even get into double figures and 2016 was no exception with just 8 captures of 4 individual birds – male, female and 2 youngsters.
It does seem sad that in an area made so famous for its Nightingales by the poet John Clare that they are on the brink of disappearing as a breeding bird. The species across the UK generally has been in decline now for many years – alongside birds like the Turtle Dove (another Bainton speciality) whose decline in numbers is even worse than the Nightingale – and there are many reasons why this is the case. Loss of habitat, indiscriminate shooting of migratory birds as they cross countries which are supposed to be abiding by EU laws on hunting but chose to ignore them (and naff all gets done about it), dodgy weather during the breeding season etc, all of which chip away at species until they can no longer sustain a viable population. It may be just part of the cycle of life and there’s no doubt that over the years I’ve been ringing the birds at Bainton I’ve caught species that would have had twitchers in a right old lather ‘back in the day’. So, perhaps it’s just the way it is and I have been fortunate to have been able to handle many hundreds of these most wonderful songsters over the years. Many ringers would give their eye teeth just to ring even one.
A few years ago at the British Birdwatching Fair at Rutland Water we caught a Nightingale, the only one caught in Leicestershire and Rutland that year. It was just about the first bird caught on the first morning and, as many birders had never even seen one due their secretive habits, we announced it on the tannoy system. Within a few minutes, folk were standing around 10 deep just to catch a glimpse of this most enigmatic bird. The lad who ringed was a delightful chap called John Wint who’d been ringing for over 40 years and who’d never even seen one and, as he was dealing with the bird he said to the assembled crowd that he wasn’t too sure on things and would ‘ask Chris as he’s an expert on them’! Perhaps compared to him I was but I would prefer to be called experienced rather than expert. There is a difference. John was thrilled to be able to handle a bird he’d dreamed of catching and, as he sadly passed away a couple of years ago, I’m glad I was able to help him achieve his dream. Such is the pulling power of this bird. Not much to look at but a voice beyond compare. Do listen out for it this year and enjoy it while you can. I know from speaking to several of you last year that you too had noticed how few were around. Cynics might argue that in the great scheme of things it doesn’t matter if they disappear but I think our lives – well certainly mine – are greatly diminished by not having the opportunity to hear one in full flow.
So back to the title of the piece. I’ve now been able to add polymyalgia rheumatica to my list of woes and am cursed with stiffening joints, aching fingers etc – just about everything you patently don’t want to happen to you as a bird ringer. The steroids are messing up my diabetes as well so getting down to Bainton is getting more and more difficult. However….there’s one small brown warbler with a russet coloured tail that makes all the aches and pains a lot more bearable. Guess who that is?
I hope 2017 brings you good fortune with rod and line and good fortune too for all our wildlife.
Chris Hughes (Bird Ringer)

And Finally…….
Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.

Ian Wakeford


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Bainton Fisheries Bird Ringing Summary 2015

The annual bird ringing summary from Chris Hughes is now available and can be downloaded here.


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2016 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the sixteenth 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 2015 – 2016
All permits for 2015/16 were sold last year, the demand for 24 hour tickets was so high that not even all sponsored members were able to obtain their desired ticket. Some settled for a Dawn-til-Dusk ticket with a view to a hopeful upgrade in 16/17. 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. Operating profits have been spent on the usual running costs in 15/16; insurance, bank costs, bailiffing, contract labour, plant hire, stock, aggregate, swim building materials, postage and accountancy costs.

Ownership Status

In 2012 Bainton Fisheries was informed that LeFarge Aggregates had decided that the site was surplus to requirement. They undertook a market valuation and developed a prospectus for a future sale. This was a land only sale and was not targeted necessarily at maintaining it as a fishery; possibly developing a leisure complex. The fishery was given a deadline to make LaFarge an offer or it would go to auction. After negotiation an offer was accepted. The fishery was then in a position where a commercial loan and the owner’s domestic property was re-mortgaged to raise the funds necessary. The owner was reticent in sharing the purchase of the fishery as he did not want members to think that because it was freehold the fishery would be run for commercial gain. The owner wanted to demonstrate the fishery would continue to run the way it always had. The fishery also relies on a huge amount of good will from people and felt that demonstrating to people that nothing had changed, this support would not be withdrawn as it had to be semi-commercial. Instead of paying a lease, the funds were paying the loan back now. The owner continues to take no income from the fishery, Bainton Fisheries Ltd exists as a vehicle to service the loan. It is really good news that the Fishery is secure and no-one can take it away from us and there is no intention to significantly change the way the fishery is run just because it is now freehold. However, the loans do need to be repaid so that the terms of the agreements can be honoured. This will require that the cost of being a member of Bainton Fisheries will have to gradually increase, this will be phased in over 5 years. It is believed that Bainton Fisheries will still be very competitive even with these price increases. These increases (£30/£15/£1) will be repeated each year.

For 2016 – 2017 the prices are:-
• Non-fishing Permit: – £21.00
• Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £175.00
• 24-Hour Permit: – £350.00
• Keys will remain at £10.00

Fishery Maintenance and Development
Last year a working party weekend was held on the 26th and 27th April. The required work was the creation of a new swim in the South East corner of the Big Pit and the levelling off of swims on the Match Pit to create flat areas to fish from but also try and reduce the impact of Winter water levels. In addition there were some road repairs along the Carp Lake Maxey Cut Bank which has held up pretty well over the last year.

Working party dates
In 2016 there will be 2 working parties, the fishery is closed to fishing on all lakes from 9am on Saturday the 23rd April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 24th 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 will be the erection of a security fence along the Maxey Cut bank of the Orchid Pit, some levelling of swims on the Bailey Bridge Pit (as per the Match Pit in 2015) and some track repairs where the ground appears to be too soft in Winter and some reed cutting and tree trimming. The precise plan of works for the weekend will be alerted out via Facebook nearer the time.

The most useful tools to bring will also be notified but the fence construction will definitely require very thick gloves and hedge gardening tools as barbed wire will be involved. Please stay tuned for further information.

Feedback from Members Meeting
The sixteenth members’ meeting was held at the Tallington Lakeside Bar on 15th March 2016.
• There was a discussion about referrals; there have been a few referral’s for people who have been removed/excluded from other fisheries, members seriously need to consider the referral of another angler. If they have had any disciplinary issue at another fishery you do have to question why you would want to refer them to join Bainton fisheries and also to consider your own reputational position for knowingly referring a problematic angler.
• Members were informed that the majority of members now renewed online either by Bank Transfer or Card Payment via the Web Site. Direct Bank Transfer being the fisheries preferred option as it did not attract large bank charges. It was noted that only 13 X 24 Hour ticket holders left in 2015, leaving the tickets overly subscribed with over 30 referrals chasing these tickets. It is likely that if a similar demand takes place in 2016 that members are advised to refer early.
• Stocking news was that a split stocking had been sought of a mix of Bream and Carp, the Bream were to refresh the fish in the Bailey Bridge Pit and the Carp would top up lakes previously stocked from Centre Parcs. Unfortunately the Bream netting was to harvest a previous stocking of young skimmers from Abbey Park lake in Leicester which has been allowed to grow. The netting to extract the fish did not produce a single bream and only a few damaged carp. The fish had all been eaten or damaged by cormorants therefore making the surviving fish unsellable. There is however an option for the usual stock of fish from Centre Parcs which has been accepted and they will be spread around lakes which already have this strain introduced. They will not be stocked presently into the Carp Lake nor New Pit. When exact stocking dates are known members will be notified via the Bainton Fisheries facebook closed group.
• The owner wanted to discuss Day Ticket anglers; there was an admission that due to the over subscription of 24 hour tickets there had been an offer to anglers who had not been successful to acquire a dawn until dusk ticket. Some had accepted and a handful were long distance anglers who had joined, as long as they could stay on site at night and fish days. This was accepted as long as these anglers removed their rods from their rests as it was perceived that the likelihood of taking over a swim at dusk was unlikely. After much discussion it was agreed by members that this was too generous and that dawn to dusk members should vacate the swim completely at dusk. It was accepted that they could stay onsite at night, but park and rest away from swims, using areas adjacent to the Bailey Bridge pit, Stock Pond and just inside the gate to rest the night, The owner felt that it was unlikely to persist next year as he expected most dawn until dusk anglers aspiring to a 24 hour ticket to be upgraded, and would respect this strong feeling from the membership going forward.
• Guest tickets were also discussed; they were becoming increasingly difficult to bailiff and some guests were not being supervised, obeying the fishery rules and were not pre-agreed with the fishery. Some guests it was felt were trying to get away with non-payment. The membership felt they wanted to retain the facility to bring guests, within the limits of Dawn until Dusk, with pre-agreed and additional payment via the Bainton Fisheries website members’ area, only in advance. This payment must be evidenced on the bank either with a print out of the payment receipt or email on a phone. The guest situation would be reviewed at the next members meeting.
• The rules of the fishery were also discussed, the specific rules governing the New Pit were given special attention and it was agreed that the restrictions were set when the fishery did not have a large choice of carp fishing to choose from. Going forward it was agreed that although the three rod limit and fishing zone would continue on this lake the 72 hour on and off rule would be abolished from the new season.
• The owner and bailiff wanted to discuss summer pike fishing. Both were concerned that there had been quite a few fatalities over the summer and there was potential that extended playing of fish in warm conditions with low dissolved oxygen levels could lead to a repeat in 2016. It was agreed that pike caught in the summer via lure needed to be played quickly and fishing for them in the height of the summer needed to be discouraged. The situation would be monitored in year and reviewed at the next members meeting.
• It was felt also in the rules that it had never been necessary to say that theft from the site was against the rules, it was however noted that aggregate, wheelbarrows and general swim building materials had all been stolen on-site during the previous year and that members needed to be extra vigilant and report and challenge any acts which they felt were theft.
• Members raised three items from the floor; it was felt that the stile at the far West of the L shape lake was not being used and that a large gap in the adjacent fence had opened up that needed to be repaired, this was noted with the potential to be added to the working party list of jobs. In addition it was noted that a few gaps were starting to appear in the King Street hedge along the Big Pit, again this was noted and it was suggested that a small amount of hedge laying would resolve the problem. Finally the fishery gate was discussed, it was noted that the current construction was eroding jockey wheels and also there was quite a bit of noise. It was felt by the fishery that in the medium term the gate would be altered to a quieter and more sustainable construction.

And a note from the birdringer…..

LIGHTWEIGHT STARS
You won’t have seen much of me and even less of Michelle, my ringing chum last year as we were both affected by family ill health. Sadly, Michelle will no longer be able to ring at Bainton, which is a great shame as she was really getting stuck into making the reedbed area her ‘own’ ringing patch. For me, serious family illness curtailed most of my ringing activity too but I did at least manage to get down to the site from time to time. Anyway, moving swiftly on…..
Two of the more delicate species I catch featured prominently last year. Willow Warbler 5U2688 was ringed by me as an adult female on 2 May 2012 and she came back to Bainton in 2013 and again in 2015. This little lass, weighing in at a mighty 9g or thereabouts has been back and forth to sub-Saharan Africa year after year, covering thousands of miles. Having been to the Sahara several times and seen how hostile the environment is, it never fails to amaze me how these tiny creatures manage this epic journey. And not only do they vaguely point in the right direction, they actually orientate to the exact site too. I have to confess to being more than a little moved when I hold one of these delicate little birds in my hands and can only imagine the journey it’s made – just so it can breed and keep the species going. Willow Warblers are unique as they have a moult in the UK before they migrate and then put on another ‘new set of clothes’ before they come back again in the spring. Most species don’t do this at all so they’ll return with the same feathers they left with the previous autumn and won’t actually moult until they’ve finished breeding the following summer. I’ve seen some really tatty specimens over the years for sure but once they’re newly booted and suited and got some fat on board, off they go.
At the other end of the movement scale is the Long tailed Tit, glorious little things that move around in family groups from May onwards. I guess most of you will have seen them buzzing around, constantly calling to each other so they stay in contact. I catch quite a few of these at Bainton and rarely get just one or two in a net. The record is 24 in one net at my winter ringing site in Leicestershire and that was quite a sight to see. One that must have swerved round the nets at Bainton a few times is BHX803, ringed as a juvenile on 18 May 2007. This chap turned up again in 2015 almost 8 years after I first ringed him. Quite where he’s been over the years we’ll never know and as they are fairly sedentary, he’s not likely to have gone far but he’s getting close to the national longevity record for the species – 8 years, 11 months. They don’t carry much weight around as they don’t need to. Unlike Willow Warblers, which pack on fat in the autumn to use as fuel for their migration, Long tailed Tits are even lighter at around 7g. Also, they have a totally different moult strategy to Willow Warblers with both adults and juveniles having a complete autumn moult. They retain all these feathers until they moult again after breeding the following year. So, in late autumn, it’s virtually impossible to tell old from young.
As you can see, ringing isn’t just about putting a bit of metal on a birds’ leg. Whilst we have the bird in the hand, it’s crucial to capture as much information as we can and all this data, stored at the British Trust for Ornithology’s HQ in Thetford helps to inform conservation strategies for the future. Hopefully, 2016 will be a better year for me so I can continue to add to the data sets that have been collected from Bainton for the past 3 decades or so.
My best wishes to you all for a successful year’s fishing.
Chris Hughes

And Finally…….

Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.

Ian Wakeford


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2015 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the fifteenth 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 2014 – 2015

All permits for 2014/15 were sold last year, the demand for 24 hour tickets was very high but the dawn til dusk tickets were less popular but were sold after a week of being available on the Internet.  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.  Operating profits have been spent on the usual running costs in 14/15;  insurance, bank costs, bailiffing, contract labour, plant hire, stock, swim building materials, postage and accountancy costs.

Looking forward into 15/16 the running costs of the fishery will unfortunately increase by a minimum of £2000 just due to inflation on outgoings and some materials to improve the site for members, therefore ticket prices will increase in order to cover costs.  Therefore the permits will increase in cost by 50p for non-fishing permits, £10.00 for day fishing and £20.00 for 24 hours fishing to reflect this.

For 2015 – 2016 the prices are:-

Non-fishing Permit: – £20.00

Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £160.00

24-Hour Permit: – £320.00

Keys will remain at  £10.00

Fishery Maintenance and Development

Last year a working party weekend was held on the 26th and 27th April with the fishery being closed to anglers during the day.  On both days enough eager volunteers turned up to complete the programme of work.  The required work on the Saturday was the rebuild of three swims on the Big Pit, two along the North Bank where the level is too low, and a major reconstruction on the Point Swim in the North West corner.  In addition on the Sunday there was an attempt to lay a secondary track in addition to the one that already exists on the Orchid Pit and extend another 90m of track along the L shape from the Bailey Bridge side.

Working party dates

In 2015 there will be 2 working parties, and they will take place over one weekend.  The fishery is closed to fishing on all lakes from 9am on Saturday the 18th April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 19th April to 5pm.  Anglers with 24 hour tickets are more than welcome to fish nights outside of these hours, however they must remove their equipment to a safe distance to avoid any possibility of damage, e.g. falling branches.

The required work will be the creation of a new swim in the South East corner of the Big Pit and the leveling off of swims on the Match Pit to create flat areas to fish from but also try and reduce the impact of Winter water levels.  In addition there will be some road repairs along the Carp Lake Maxey Cut Bank and if enough materials can be obtained in time for the working party the fence along the Maxey Cut Bank of the Orchid Pit will have a new fence erected.  The precise plan of works for the weekend is still rather fluid due to dependencies on machine availability and materials which are still being sourced.  However once a plan is formulated nearer the working party dates members will be alerted to the likely running order of events via email and Facebook.

The most useful tools to bring will also be notified but if the fence construction takes place this will definitely require very thick gloves and hedge gardening tools as barbed wire will be involved.  Please stay tuned for further information.

Feedback from Members Meeting

The fifteenth members’ meeting was held at the Tallington Lakeside Bar on 18th March 2015.

·   The first and major item was a discussion which formed part of the formal consultation on the proposal to close the Lolham East Coach railway Line level crossing.  The initial proposal was shared which members did not support due to the creation of a long “deadleg” road from the Fishery Entrance North to the crossing.  A modified proposal from Railtrack was also considered whereby the highway ceases just past the entrance to the fishery, leaving a turning spot incorporating the fishery entrance in the turning spot.  Members supported this option in principle but did have additional improvements to feedback to Railtrack.  These were to consider moving the entrance flush with the main road to remove the temptation of using the entrance as a fly tipping site; to consider moving the end of public highway a little further South so that only members could pass an bollard or gate and finally to consider a CCTV camera to act as a deterrent to fly tippers.  All points raised by members have now formally been submitted to Railtrack.

·   There was a discussion about the new Bainton Fisheries Web Site which has primarily been overhauled to provide more information to prospective members who make the same enquiries time and time again.  It is also now mobile friendly as many people call from the front gate.  It is hoped this will cut down on the general enquires about where are the lakes, how much it costs to join, what fish are present etc.  In addition members will be able to renew their permits online through a PayPal/Debit Card/Credit Card payment web page.  This page is currently restricted to members only as new members would still be subject to review and payment would not want to be taken if a place was not available for them.  In addition it allows for ad hoc payments such as a guest ticket, all transactions will result in an email sending back as proof of purchase. This should be shsown to the bailiff if requested. New members would still require to pay by Cheque or Postal Order or Cash to the owners house as a last resort.  Online payments from peoples Internet bank accounts will still be possible (40% last year by this method) and is indeed the preferred method of payment as the transaction costs are the lowest. There is increasing demand to pay by credit card especially and Bainton Fisheries has to move with the times.  For Card or Online payments please remember to use the reference number you are supplied with as this is the only way to tie the payment back to the member.

·   The Bainton Fisheries Facebook closed group was also highlighted, it was felt by members that it has been a tremendous success and that the original intention of just providing a method to seek assistance when on site had been overtaken by it becoming a real community with regular postings every day.  If members are on Facebook and wish to become a member then they can ask to join by searching for Bainton Fisheries on Facebook.  The group will be restricted to current paid up members.

·   There was one stocking since the last meeting which was 80 Carp from Centre Parcs, 50 of these fish were stocked into the Match Pit and 30 fish stocked into the Big Pit.  All were young fish ranging from about 8lb to 17lb and all pictures can be found on the Bainton Fisheries Facebook closed group Album, with a summary update on the web site.

·   Future stocking was also discussed, one of the areas of greatest priority was trying to obtain some mid-range pike.  It was agreed this would be looked into.

·   .The Drainage pipes controlling the water levels had continued to work well during the Winter of 2014, however the pipe running between the L Shape and the Orchid will require some maintenance during the Summer of 2015.  The pipe is in two sections and tree roots have started to invade inside the pipe.  Therefore the pipe will be partially dug up when water levels are lower and a concrete collar will be built around the pipe join.  This work should not close the road.

·   The success of the plastic netting was also discussing for the grass tracks.  It was felt that where the underlying ground was very soft and muddy the nets had been less effective and rutting had still taken place.  Some drivers has also managed to avoid driving on the netting and had created ruts, which somewhat defeated the object.  There would be some minor repairs as part of the working party to add additional pea gravel where ruts had occurred and also any future netting would ensure that a good firm base was prepared prior to laying the netting.  The next section that it was felt needed attention was the West bank of the L shape between the bramble bushes.  If time and finances allowed this could be tackled in 2015, but it may have to wait until 2016 if fence repairs take place as both projects are quite expensive.

·   Poaching was also discussed and it was felt that increasing the difficulty to step over the fence along the side of the Orchid Pit was probably the most important issue of the evening.  The owner committed to looking at options within the financial constraints that funds would allow for.  Members also offered some materials that could be used.  As a result of that discussion it is likely that the existing concrete posts along the Maxey Cut bank will be extended using angle iron brackets and that barbed wire will be erected to make the fence approximately 6 feet tall.  This plan is still subject to change to develop a solution that is both effective but also the best value for money for the fishery.

·   Predation was also discussed, the owner reconfirmed that there is an active management of general vermin species that have an impact on fish and other wildlife such as songbirds.  The fishery is also licensed to control a limited number of cormorants which cause the greatest damage to fish stocks.  Otter fencing was also discussed but the cost to fence a 5 kilometre perimeter at £100 per metre is very expensive and would require a long term investment by the fishery coupled with a long term price rise by members to pay for it.  Otter presence had not really been noted in the last 12 months so it was felt that a watching brief would be kept in 2015.  There is also the aesthetics of the site to consider that releasing otters into the wild then leads to fisheries looking like concentration camps visually destroying the countryside.  The site is also incredibly hard to fence with a land drain running through the middle which must have access kept open for the local drainage board.

·   Members wanted to know what engagement with the Environment Agency had been had in the past year with regards to the old River Welland and poachers.  The owner confirmed that the EA had not prioritised any work on the Old River Welland since the last site meeting although it appears some trees had been felled along the banks.  With regards to poachers, the EA were unlikely to offer any assistance as they now had one enforcement officer from the Humber to Bedfordshire and they tended to concentrate their efforts on checking easy sites where they were likely to engage with large numbers of anglers as they claimed they had targets to meet.  The owner did state that he had tried to obtain the fishing rights on the Maxey Cut stretch of the fishery from the EA, but both attempts had been thwarted to date not on principle, in fact the EA had supported it, but on being able to find someone in the EA to make a decision and be accountable for it.  A renewed effort will be made.  The principle behind this was not for the fishing per se but it would allow people who were seen fishing Maxey Cut to be asked to leave. As the usual mode of operation from poachers was to pretend to fish Maxey Cut and if it looked quiet along the Orchid bank, they then stepped over the wire.

·   It was noted that although the gate had been repaired and the padlock had failed in 2014, high usage of the gate does take its toll and can people be kind to it.  It was noted that the jockey wheel was about to expire due to the weight of the gate on this wheel.

·   The main track was also discussed, Andy Nutt was thanked for his strenuous and persistent efforts in filling in pot holes.  This year limestone had been used which seemed to be very effective.  Some more would be ordered when it was all used up.

·   There was a discussion lead by the owner that many people were often unable to make the working party or indeed not able to undertake physical labour for 4 or 5 hours, but they were more than willing to do odd jobs at the complex if they only knew what needed doing.  There was a lot of support for this approach and the owner committed to finding a method for members and the fishery team to notify jobs that needed doing and also allow for feedback that they had been undertaken.  Typical examples could be including a shovel or a bow saw in the back of a car, and spending half an hours doing a few pot holes or trimming a few tress after you have packed up fishing for the day.

·   The fishery rules remain unchanged and it was felt the bait boats (and their owners) had generally been well behaved after last year’s rule change.

·   All in all it was a good meeting with lots of constructive suggestions and the Fishery Owner would like to thank people for their support in attending.

·   The deadline for renewal to ensure that all applications are received will be no later than Tuesday 12th May 2015 to ensure that membership does not lapse, thereafter; existing members will compete with new applications.  Should existing members wish to sponsor a new applicant please be aware of their abilities to fish and obey rules and an early renewal accompanied with that sponsorship is advised, as latent demand for 24 hour tickets seems to be great this year.

A note from the Bird Ringer……

TIME FOR A CHANGE

2014 saw a change in the approach to ringing at Bainton.  Michelle Househam and I split the former ringing site into two new expanded sites.  One is exclusively on the heath and the other concentrated in the reedbed and damp scrub.  Between us we caught and processed 1355 birds of 33 species during 2014 which proved to be a much better year all round for most breeding birds than of late.  Some species did really well e.g. Robin, Blackbird, Blackcap and Chiffchaff whilst others continue to give cause for concern, not least Nightingale.  Many of you commented to me that you’d not heard so many singing males last year and it’s a sad fact that the population nationally of this iconic bird is dropping at an alarming rate – down 57% between 1995 and 2009. The results of the latest survey in 2012/13 are still awaited but at Bainton their numbers have dropped too and are now at an all-time low.  The reasons for this are many and varied but it’s now accepted that the burgeoning deer population on the heath is not helping so action will be taken this year to address the problem.  Let’s just hope it’s not too late. The birds we get at Bainton are just about at the northern edge of their range anyway so we are very fortunate to have them at all and one of the joys for me of ringing is setting up the nets on a spring morning, in the dark, accompanied by them blasting their songs out across the heath.   You’d probably be surprised at how many birders have never even heard one, let alone seen one so we are indeed greatly privileged to spend time in their company.  Long may it continue!

One of the first summer visitors to arrive is the Chiffchaff.  Many of these now actually spend their winter in the UK hanging around such salubrious places as sewage farms where there’s a bit of warmth and a plentiful supply of small insects.  One that was more traditional though was a juvenile ringed here on 21 July and caught again by French ringers at Wimereux, Pas de Calais on 27 September, no doubt on its way to southern Spain.  Weighing in at 7.7g (less than a £1 coin) it travelled 247km in just 68 days.  Lots of Chiffchaffs winter in southern Spain and North Africa so, in migration terms, it’s not too long a trek back to Britain.  Others head off much further south, most going sub Saharan, before heading back once more.  When I catch birds that I know have spent their winter so far away I often wonder what they’ve seen.  A few weeks before they arrive at Bainton, they’ve potentially been in the company of lions, elephants, rhinos etc.  Best of all is those that I’ve ringed here before and that have returned to exactly the same site.  One was Garden Warbler (X688838) ringed as an adult male on 15 May 2010 and retrapped on 30 April 2014. These birds overwinter in tropical and South Africa and the typical lifespan is around two years so this chap, at least 5 years old, was doing well.

The most amusing incident of the year involved one of those noisy Green Woodpeckers.  You can hardly fail to hear them as they are extremely loud.  Wandering back over the heath one morning I noticed one flying along calling as usual.  It flew into a bush and then the note suddenly changed as in a mad panic, it belted out hastily pursued by a Sparrowhawk.  To be honest, I think the Sparrowhawk was just joshing with it as it soon gave up and the panic stricken woodpecker disappeared from view.  At least it was a more likely scenario than the amazing recent photos of a weasel hitching a lift on the back of a Green Woodpecker.  I wonder who was more surprised – bird, weasel or photographer?

I hope you all have a pleasant fishing year in 2015 and, as ever, feel free to pop over for a chat.

Chris Hughes

 

And Finally…….

Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task.    Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop.

Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.

 

Ian Wakeford


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Bainton Fisheries Bird Ringing Summary 2014

The annual bird ringing summary from Chris Hughes is now available and can be downloaded here.


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February 2015 Carp Stocking

30 Carp were stocked into the Big Pit and 50 Carp into the Match Pit to a total weight of 611lb.  There was about a 50/50 split between Mirrors and Commons.  They were sourced from Centre Parcs as usual.  Below are a few examples of the stocked fish, they were on the range of 18-8lb.

DSCF3577

DSCF3687

DSCF3591

 

DSCF3694

DSCF3705

DSCF3696


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April 2014 Carp Stocking

In April 2014 a stocking of 100 Carp took place into the Orchid and L Shape.

These fish were from Centre Parcs near Nottingham. Weighing a total of 600lb in total, generally weighing about 8lb each, the largest a 17lb Common (last photo below and a big bloke is holding it!). They were a mix of mirrors and commons about 40/60 split. 30 Fish were stocked into the Orchid and 70 were stocked into the L shape. Below are a few example photos.

Total stocking into the L Shape now equates to 126 Carp since the 2006 fish kill and 69 Carp into the Orchid to add to the resident fish since 2007. Future stockings will now concentrate on refreshing stock in other lakes on the complex.


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2014 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the fourteenth 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 2013 – 2014
All permits for 2013/14 were sold last year and demand looks reasonably positive for 2014/15 due to the number of enquiries coming through. It is expected that all tickets will be sold before the new season starts.  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.  Operating profits have been spent on the usual running costs in 13/14;  insurance, bank costs, bailiffing, contract labour, plant hire, stock, swim building materials, postage and accountancy costs.
Looking forward into 14/15 the running costs of the fishery will unfortunately increase by a minimum of £800 just due to inflation on outgoings, therefore ticket prices will increase but within a level that people will accept in these difficult economic times.  Therefore the permits will increase in cost by 50p for non-fishing permits, £5.00 for day fishing and £10.00 for 24 hours fishing to reflect this.

For 2014 – 2015 the prices are:-

Non-fishing Permit: – £19.50

Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £150.00

24-Hour Permit: – £300.00

Keys will be £10.00

Fishery Maintenance and Development
Last year a working party weekend was held on the 27th and 28th April with the fishery being closed to anglers during the day.  On both days enough eager volunteers turned up to complete the programme of work. The required work was the trimming of trees on the Carp Pit and the laying of 100m of ground reinforcement netting on the back of the Orchid Pit.
Working party dates
In 2014 there will be 2 working parties, and they will take place over one weekend.  The fishery is closed to fishing on all lakes from 9am on Saturday the 26th April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 27th April to 5pm.  Anglers with 24 hour tickets are more than welcome to fish nights outside of these hours, however they must remove their equipment to a safe distance to avoid any possibility of damage, e.g. falling branches.

The required work will be the rebuild of three swims on the Big Pit, two along the North Bank where the level is too low, and a major reconstruction on the Point Swim in the North West corner.  In addition there will be an attempt to lay a secondary track in addition to the one that already exists on the Orchid Pit and remove several trees from the water in the L Shape.  There will also be some general gardening on most pits.

The most useful tools to bring will be wheel barrows, shovels, hammers, lump hammers, bow saws, loppers, pole cutters and very thick gloves are useful items to bring.

The big pit work will be mainly a groundwork day, whereas the work on the Orchid and L Shape will be a mixture of laying track and a gardening day.

Please meet by parking inside the entrance on the Saturday and near the L Shape on Sunday  as plant machinery may be used please ensure you leave plenty of room on the main track.

Feedback from Members Meeting
The fourteenth members’ meeting was held at the Bluebell pub in Werrington, on 26th March 2014.

The feedback about the renewal process involving Internet Banking was commented on.  It had been successful and as long as people use the reference on the renewal form it was relatively foolproof.  Renewals that were complex in nature rather than just a “same again” were probably best done manually.  Sponsored members would also need to apply with a cheque.  There still will be a requirement to return the renewal form in the post to confirm address details and act as a record of renewal to tally up with any online payment.

The owner announced there had not been any stockings since the last meeting, however 500lb of carp from Centre Parks had been ordered and they were netted, stored in a stock pond and awaiting delivery.  Due to unfortunate circumstances with the fish supplier having both their vehicles out of action (due to theft and mechanical failure), delivery had not yet taken place but was imminent. The final destination of the fish had not been decided, but would probably top up existing stock from the same strain.

Feedback on the project in 2013 to address the water levels was given.  It was considered a success although it had been an even wetter winter than the previous year, water levels had not been as high.  There was however quite a high level of maintenance required on the extract pipes to keep them clear for which the owner was grateful to the bailiff for attending to.

The plastic ground reinforcement netting was also discussed and again had proved to be a success.  Subject to purchase at a reasonable price a further strip of grass track will be purchased and laid during the April working party.

The owner gave feedback on a meeting with the Environment Agency (EA) with regards to the Lolham Mill Stream (course of the old River Welland) which was now included in the ticket. The meeting was to discuss the potential for restoration of this water course, so that it could be stocked with a viable population of river species.  The meeting concluded that the management of this water course by the EA meant that it was used to run water off in the Winter and was almost standing water in the Summer.  This lead to river bottom silting and subsequent stagnation during the hot summer months.  The EA concluded that they classified the waterway as a low quality fishery and that they would not invest in any restoration work in the short term, advising that any stocking would be unlikely to be successful due to the variability of the river, caused by it’s management.  A follow up meeting will be arranged with the EA as part of an annual reminder that anglers rod license money does require some investment back into fishing and habitat restoration.  However some fish are present and members are permitted to fish the river as specified in the permit.

There was a discussion about the numerous small rudd in the Match Pit making it hard to make baits  available to Tench and other species.  This was also combined with a request from a member to have some Rudd made available to stock a small lake on a housing estate.  So it was proposed that there was potential to have a stock of rudd removed by the most efficient method possible.  The owner said they would discuss the matter with the EA initially to understand if they would be willing to help.

An update was given on the main gate.  It had been extensively overhauled during the Winter to replace the padlock, further work could take place to ensure the jockey wheel was adjustable.

The main track and potholes were also discussed.  As the pea gravel on site is running low, a different approach is now required.  Enquiries had been made to obtain road planning and/or crushed brick to gradually relay the road in a more stable material, to hopefully avoid pothole creation.  At the moment these enquiries have not lead to any firm offers of aggregate at an acceptable price, however the search continues.  It would appear that a 20 tonne load would cover about 30m of track, at a price of about £150 per load.  For a long track across the site this would quickly add up to a significant amount.

There was a lengthy discussion about the use of baitboats at the meeting.  The general feeling was not that people were generally anti bait boats, but the issue was that a few individuals were fishing beyond a range that would be considered as part of their swim, and also taking baitboats into places that they could not cast and potentially endangering fish.  The rules should be strengthened coupled with random compliance tests as part of that strengthened rule.

Rule 12 would be changed to read – Bait boats are permitted but they must be used within the following framework:- a) to use the boat in water that you can actually safely cast to from your swim (keeping out of uncastable sanctuary areas) and b) to only use it within an area which would be considered to be the swim area, (i.e. not intruding on another swim’s fishing area and c) not to exceed a maximum distance of 120 metres and d) not introducing risk of loss of fish by proximity to snags.

All other rules were unchanged.

The deadline for renewal to ensure that all applications are received will be no later than Tuesday 13th May 2014 to ensure that membership does not lapse, thereafter; existing members will compete with new applications.  Should existing members wish to sponsor a new applicant please be aware of their abilities to fish and obey rules and an early renewal accompanied with that sponsorship is advised, as latent demand for tickets seems to be great this year.

A note from the Bird Ringer……

The times are a’changing

The weather!  The perennial subject discussed up and down the country by just about everyone.  It does seem to me that the weather patterns have shifted somewhat and, depending on who you believe; we are in for some more changes.  The easily recognised seasons seem to be somewhat blurred round the edges with overly wet winters and summers, severe winter storms, mild winters etc, all seemingly playing havoc.  I’ve no idea what the impact of all of this is on the fish (and fishing) but over the years, birds have had to learn to adapt.  And not just to our ever changing weather but with loss of habitat at an alarming rate.  2013 was the coldest spring since 1962 yet was followed by the warmest summer since 2006 with 50% of the average summer rainfall too.   You might have thought this was great news for breeding birds but 2012 was such a poor breeding year that there just weren’t the numbers of juveniles around from that year to swell the ranks of the adults from previous years. Subsequently, despite the pretty good weather, 2013 was not a particularly productive year and juvenile numbers were down for most species, not only at Bainton but around the country too.  The good news though is that with the mild winter, survival rates for last years’ young might be good so 2014 should, in theory anyway, be much better.  Also, with a following wind – literally – our summer migrants winging their way back from Africa should find things a bit more to their liking.

Just to show though how things change, it’s not that many years ago that the recording of a Cetti’s Warbler at Bainton would have made national headlines.  These fantastic little birds (they look a  bit like a Wren on steroids and you’ll hear them rather than see them as they have an explosive song) first bred in Britain only  40 years ago.  I’ve only ringed four juveniles here but amazingly, two of them have been caught again by other ringers.  The first was in Pembrokeshire in 2010 and one I ringed in 2013 was caught again in Yorkshire a few weeks later.  Whilst some species are expanding, others are in serious trouble with populations being decimated by a combination of factors, weather being one of them.  Warblers overwintering in Africa are as much dependent on suitable conditions there as they are here so if it’s not right there, it impacts greatly on their survival.  To compound the problem, in 2013 they had to contend with strong headwinds on their way north and then, when they finally got there they were met with a cold spring.  One species that had an unusual year was Spotted Flycatcher, a sub-Saharan migrant.  Over the last two decades or so, only two have ever been caught here – both juveniles – moving through in autumn, yet in 2013 six were ringed including adult birds in spring.  Never common, populations of these nondescript, streaky brown birds have declined by 50% between 1995 – 2010 and by a staggering 88% since 1970.   I remember as a young child spending hours watching them fly out from a favourite perch, twisting and turning through the air as they chased some flying insect before returning to the same perch.  Like most things, I took it for granted that I’d be able to watch this display of aerial mastery for ever but it’s difficult to spot one now.  Had I not been ringing, it’s doubtful anyone would even have known they were around, which is one of the joys of ringing.  You just never know what you’re going to catch and, after hundreds of ringing sessions over the years, a Tawny Owl finally managed to plop into a net.  In fact, the following week, another did exactly the same!  Fascinating birds, lovely cryptic plumage with a dozy looking expression that can fool the unwary into thinking they’ve nodded off whilst you’re extracting them from the net.  Their massively strong talons can apply an amazing amount of grip as I can personally testify from having one insert a claw into and out the other side of one of my fingers when I caught one at Ferry Meadows, Peterborough a few years ago.  Not an experience I care to repeat.  Thankfully, these two were very obliging but you do have to exercise a little caution, as no doubt do you when you’re disgorging a pike I expect.

So, mind your fingers, come and say hello if you see my Skoda parked up and have a great 2014.

Chris Hughes (Bird ringer)

The 2012 Birdringing Report can be found at
http://www.baintonfisheries.co.uk/docs/birdringer2013.pdf
And Finally…….
Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task.    Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop.

Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.

Ian Wakeford


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2013 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the thirteenth 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 2012 – 2013

Some of the difficulties that anglers were having in renewing permits last year seems to have now rectified itself as demand was as great as ever for permits in 12/13.  All the permits were again sold and those few that were made available on the internet were gone within a few days.  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.  Operating profits have been spent on the usual running costs in 12/13; rent, insurance, bailiffing, contract labour, plant hire, stock, swim building materials, postage and accountancy costs.  The greatest increase however was in postage costs and the requirement to have additional legal protection insurance in addition to public liability insurance.
Looking forward into 13/14 the running costs of the fishery will unfortunately increase but will remain hopefully within a level that people will accept in these difficult economic times.  Therefore the permits will increase in cost by £1.00 for non-fishing permits, £10.00 for day fishing and £20.00 for 24 hours fishing to reflect this.

For 2013 – 2014 the prices are:-
Non-fishing Permit: – £19.00
Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £145.00
24-Hour Permit: – £290.00
Keys will be £10.00

Fishery Maintenance and Development

Last year a working party weekend was held on the 21st and 22nd April with the fishery being closed to anglers during the day.  On both days enough eager volunteers turned up to complete the programme of work. The required work was the building up of swims on the big pit and the repair of a swim on the carp lake.

Working party dates

In 2013 there will be 2 working parties, and they will take place over one weekend.  The fishery is closed to fishing on all lakes from 9am on Saturday the 27th April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 28th April to 5pm.  Anglers with 24 hour tickets are more than welcome to fish nights outside of these hours, however they must remove their equipment to a safe distance to avoid any possibility of damage, e.g. falling branches.
The required work will be a large amount of tree trimming on the carp lake, track repairs and reed trimming.

Bow saws, loppers, pole cutters, spades, shovels, chest waders, wheel barrows, very thick gloves are useful items to bring.  A boat will be used also on the working party so if you have a life jacket you may get a special treat.

Please meet by parking at the Bailey Bridge Pit on the Saturday and the Match Pit on Sunday  As plant machinery will be used please ensure you leave plenty of room on the main track.
Feedback from Members Meeting
The thirteenth members’ meeting was held at the Tallington Lakes Bar, Tallington, on 20th April 2013.

•             There was a discussion about the renewal process for 2013 and the option for Internet payment (as a bill payment via online banking) would be made available to members if they wanted to use it.  Renewals that were complex in nature rather than just a “same again” were probably best done manually.  Sponsored members would also need to apply with a cheque.  There still will be a requirement to return the renewal form in the post to confirm address details and act as a record of renewal to tally up with any online payment.

•             The owner announced there had been three stockings in the months prior.  In December 2012 4 Pike in the 14-15lb range were stocked into the New Pit, to try and reduce the growing headcount of Rudd and Perch in the lake and also introduce a bit more winter sport onto the lake.  35 Carp weighing a total of 240lb were stocked into the Orchid Pit in December 2012 also.  This was a 60/40 mix of mirrors/commons in the 5lb to 13lb range.  The fish were from Centre Parks again which have proved to be a very good, fast growing strain.  Lastly 60 Carp for 300lb were stocked into the Big Pit in February 2013.  These fish were from a new source, Wayside Farm Fishery, near Shepton Mallet, Somerset.  These fish were uncaught fish having been the by-product of a Syndicate Fishery that had a overpopulation problem.  Most fish were exactly 5lb in weight, but were very young and plump fish and probably some the prettiest fish Bainton has ever bought.  The fish were a mix of Leathers, Mirrors and Commons of equal proportion.

•             The owner wanted to discuss predation on the complex and was keen to make the point that most predation was from fish themselves or from mink and cormorants.  Some otter activity had been seen over the Summer of 2012 but there was no evidence that they have had any impact on the fish.  They had however killed or scared off much of the bird life during the summer and the assumption that otters are a fish only predator killing large fish is incorrect.  They will eat all forms of creature, which includes small mammals, birds, amphibians and prefer small fish or about a 1lb and eels.  They are also an apex predator and their illegal introduction locally will have an ecosystem wide impact.  Otters are a protected species under the law and discouragement by human presence and fencing are the only options if a problem occurs.  Bainton Fisheries does control cormorants under licence and does trap mink to reduce predation however fencing is the only option for otters.  The owner had a quote for fencing and it would exceed £45,000 for the complex due to the massive perimeter of over 4km.  There was also a requirement to insert two concrete tunnels with hinged flaps to allow the fence to cross over the drainage dyke.  It was felt that the cost versus the benefit at this stage was not affordable and the situation should be monitored.  The owner felt that there had been a lot of hysteria in the media lately about otters and the reality at Bainton was somewhat different to the situation that is often portrayed.

•             Water levels were also discussed as it had been a dry winter with worrying low levels followed by rain in April 2012 which has never really stopped.  Drainage pipes have either been overhauled or inserted in the Big Pit, Orchid and L Shape to try and keep water down to an acceptable level.  However the Carp lake is problematic, surrounded by Maxey Cut and the Old River Welland both of which are currently higher than the lake and through the gravel deposits continuing to keep water levels very high.  A proposal was made by the owner to hire in a 6 inch pump for a week to lower water levels by 12-18 inches.  Members felt that the working party in April would be useful to take place first, then if the size of the problem was still great it may be necessary to pump at the end of April.  Members however felt that they would probably cope with high levels provided the tracks round the lake were drivable.

•             The owner wanted to see what the appetite was amongst member to open up the Lolham Mill Stream (course of the old River Welland) to fishing.  There was a positive reaction to this however the stream would need to be restored both in terms of stock and water level maintenance.  As it can run very low and clear during dry spells. The owner has arranged for a meeting with the Environment Agency to determine if they will adopt it as a river restoration project during 13/14 and it is intended that fishing will be allowed from 16th June 2013 on the permit.  It is not known however if there is anything worth catching at this stage but hopefully over time this will improve.

•             Several modifications to rules were discussed, with regards to Bait Boats, parking of cars and driving off track when clearly conditions were not appropriate, resulting in tracks being cut up.  The owner agreed to look at the rules, strengthen the wording if necessary and look at erecting poles/ropes to close very wet tracks to vehicles.  It is a shame to have to do this, but there has been a failure to apply common sense by some people making this action necessary.

•             The deadline for renewal to ensure that all applications are received will be no later than Tuesday 14th May 2013 to ensure that membership does not lapse, thereafter; existing members will compete with new applications.  Should existing members wish to sponsor a new applicant please be aware of their abilities to fish and obey rules and an early renewal accompanied with that sponsorship is advised, as latent demand for tickets seems to be great this year.

A note from the Bird Ringer……
WHAT HAVE RINGING AND FISHING GOT IN COMMON?
Fifty or more years ago when I was growing up just outside Nottingham, a favoured spot for me and my mates was Attenborough Gravel Pits, known locally as ‘The Gravs’. Owned and managed by Trent Gravels it was very much like Bainton in that it was old gravel workings that nature took over and turned into, eventually, Attenborough Nature Reserve.  The workings were still in operation when I was a kid and the ‘chug chug’ of the gravel barges as they worked their way along from the extraction sites back to the works on foggy mornings is indelibly imprinted on my brain.  It was here too that I first dabbled in a bit of fishing.  Extracting the hook from a Perch soon taught me how not to hold it whilst doing so and sometimes, when we got fed up with The Gravs, we’d gravitate onto the weir at Beeston Lock and whip Roach out of the Trent.  For me though, catching the fish was not the main attraction.  I really loved the tranquillity of sitting quietly by the side of the pond or river, watching the world go about its business and just ‘chilling out’ – a phrase we were not familiar with back then of course.  As I grew older I shared many fishing sessions with my late father and it was from him that I think I inherited my love of nature, all fostered over many, many years and slowly – ever so slowly – developed over the decades.  These days, unless there’s more or less instant gratification, folk seem less inclined to enjoy the relatively simple pleasure that fishing can bring.  Likewise with birdwatching – or, to put it in the modern vernacular, birding – where these days you can immerse yourself in endless CDs, DVDs, guides, Apps and any number of modern aids in pursuit of your hobby. You can become an expert without leaving the comfort of home but it’s just not the real thing. I don’t know about you but for me, there’s no depth to any of this, no knowledge gleaned through working things out yourself, no experiences to fall back on and, for me at least, little sense of satisfaction.  Modern day birders are certainly more knowledgeable in terms of identifying species than I ever was or will be but the headlong rush to tick off yet another species, invariably one that’s been discovered by someone else, adds little to our knowledge of our avian friends.

If fishing taught me anything, it was to be patient and the slow rhythm of life that fishing engenders is very much in line with my activities as a bird ringer.  Ringing is not for everyone and most birders run a mile at the thought of getting up in the small hours and arriving on site around 2.30 on a summer morning like I do. For me though, apart from the fact that I know I’ll be catching some fantastic birds, just being at Bainton and soaking up all the site has to offer, including your good selves, all adds to the occasion.  Not for me a dash up the road to tick off some obscure bird that’s got lost and shouldn’t even be here.  Much more important to monitor the common species, which is what my ringing programme has been doing for over 20 years now so I can see when things are going awry.  Not that anything more than eyes and ears were needed in 2012 as it was simply a catastrophic breeding season for birds at Bainton, with the notable exception of Blackbird.  If I had been a Reed Warbler who had battled through all the spring storms that affected North Africa and Southern Europe and arrived at Bainton I’d have been pretty fed up come August.  The early spring was OK (who remembers the threat of hosepipe bans?) and the signs were promising until the rains came.  From then on, it hardly stopped.

I just hope 2013 turns out to be much improved for the birds and hope you have a good year too whilst you sit back and enjoy the rhythms of nature.
Best wishes
Chris Hughes (Bird Ringer)
The 2012 Birdringing Report can be found at
http://www.baintonfisheries.co.uk/docs/birdringer2012.pdf

And Finally…….
Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task.    Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop.


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February 2013 Big Pit Carp Stocking

In February 2013 a stocking of 60 Carp took place into the Big pit.

These fish were from Wayside Farm Fishery, near Shepton Mallet, Somerset. Weighing a total of 300lb in total, generally weighing about 5lb each. They were and equal mix of mirrors, leathers and commons. Most of the fish were of exceptional beauty. Below are a few example photos.


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December 2012 Orchid Carp Stocking

In December 2012 a stocking of 35 Carp took place into the Orchid pit.

These fish were from Centre Parks weighing a total of 250lb in total, in a range between 5lb and 13lb. They werer a 60/40 mix of Mirror Carp and Common Carp. Below are a few example photos.


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2012 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the twelfth 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 2011 – 2012
There continues to be significant demand for permits on the complex although it must be said the economic downturn this year did manifest itself with some difficulties in anglers ability to pay for permits. However all permits were sold successfully and demand looks high for the coming year. 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. Operating profits have been spent on rent, insurance, staff, (bailiff and contract labour), plant hire, swim building materials, a few tools and admin costs (e.g. Stamps/Printing etc).

This year the lease costs for 2012/13 have been confirmed with other increased operating costs, this means that overall the fishery can keep permit increase costs down to a modest level. Therefore the permits will increase in cost by nothing for non-fishing permits, £2.50 for day fishing and £5.00 for 24 hours fishing to reflect this.

For 2012 – 2013 the prices are:-

Non-fishing Permit: – £18.00

Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £135.00

24-Hour Permit: – £270.00

Keys will be £10.00

Fishery Maintenance and Development
Last year a working party weekend was held on the 16th and 17th April with the fishery being closed to anglers during the day. On both days enough eager volunteers turned up to complete the programme of work. The required work was some major relaying of tracks along the Maxey cut bank of the carp lake and around the L shape, using a loader. In addition 3 swims on the Carp lake were repaired, and two trees that were a hazard to hooked fish were trimmed. On the big pit a large amount of posts left over from duck shooting platforms in the lake were stripped out and two new swims along the main track in the reeds were established.

Working party dates
In 2012 year there will be 2 working parties, and they will take place over one weekend. The fishery is closed to fishing on all lakes from 9am on Saturday the 21st April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 22nd April to 5pm. Anglers with 24 hour tickets are more than welcome to fish nights outside of these hours, however they must remove their equipment to a safe distance to avoid any possibility of damage, e.g. falling branches.

The required work will be the construction of a formal swim in the North East corner of the big pit and the repair of a swim along the East bank of the big pit. The removal of trees in the water along the East bank of the big pit will also be considered subject to a feasibility survey.

Bow saws, loppers, pole cutters, spades, shovels, chest waders, lump hammers, wheel barrows, very thick gloves are useful items to bring. A boat will be used also on the working party so if you have a life jacket you may get a special treat.

Please meet by parking at the Match Pit on Saturday and the Stock Pond on Sunday. As plant machinery will be used please ensure you leave plenty of room on the main track.

Feedback from Members Meeting
The twelfth members’ meeting was held at the Tallington Lakes Bar, Tallington, on 20th April 2012. This had a fantastic turn out with about 60 members which was excellent.
• There was a discussion about whether Internet payment should be introduced as an option or whether the current system of cheques/POs should be the sole method. Very few members indicated that they would use it and that writing a cheque was perfectly acceptable. So the current process will continue.
• The owner thanked members for their adherence to the 10mph rule on the fishery, after spending money on having the main track relayed it was essential that pot-holes be kept to a minimum as a result.
• The proposal for the working party on the 21st and 22nd April 2012 was discussed. The fishery owner had one big pit proposal left over from the previous year, plus two suggestions for the big pit were also proposed by members. There was a useful debate about removing a long standing tree in the water along the East bank of the big pit. It was agreed that a survey would be undertaken to determine if the tree could be cleanly removed. If however it would leave a residual submerged snag, it would be left, as this would at least indicate to people that a hazard existed.
• A request was also made to introduce a step into one of the swims of the carp lake, that lower water levels had make awkward to fish.
• There was also a discussion about introducing small stock fish in Bainton Fisheries, to grow-on onsite. Understandably there was a good debate about the various pros and cons of introducing small fish to a segregated area, and the options for creating such an area. The owner agreed to look into the various proposed options, to see if any of them could be made to work within the limited options of a leasehold fishery.
• The owner stated that he had been in receipt of complaints and also through the bailiff and himself witnessed incidents of anglers leaving rods unattended. It is already unlawful to leave a baited rod and line, that is unattended, in the water or over which sufficient control cannot be effected. However there is no definition as to what sufficient control is and this is for local fisheries to enforce based on judgement. The owner felt that for all forms of fishing that did not involve alarms and bolt rigs and run the risk of deep hooking then anglers should simply not wander off. But being realistic, a maximum of 10m would be tolerated for anglers using alarms and bolt rigs. However the fishery reserves the right to assess each situation as they arise and exercise judgement about ability to rapidly cover the ground to pick a rod up.
• Stocking was discussed; there had been two stockings during 11/12. In July 2011, 16 Tench were stocked into the L Shape from a fishery near Godmanchester, Hunts. These were in the 6-7 1/2lbs range. Also 21 Mirror carp were stocked into the L shape in the 8-10lb range. These will be a fast growing strain as before from Centre Parks. These are exceptionally well marked fish that will easily increase by 5lb a year. A small stock of 7 bream in the 5-8lb range were also stocked with the carp.
• A request was also made to consider the introduction of some Water Lilies into the L shape for aesthetic reasons. The owner said he would consider this and establish if a reasonable price could be established for native species.

The deadline for renewal to ensure that all applications are received will be no later than Tuesday 15th May 2012 to ensure that membership does not lapse, thereafter; existing members will compete with new applications. Should existing members wish to sponsor a new applicant please be aware of their abilities to fish and obey rules and an early renewal accompanied with that sponsorship is advised, as latent demand for tickets seems to be great this year.

A note from the Bird Ringer……
You may well be sick of reading about my beloved Nightingales at Bainton…….but last year the site was visited by Britain’s leading authority on the species, Professor Rob Fuller and his team from the British Trust for Ornithology so they could see for themselves what all the fuss was about. To say they were gobsmacked would be an understatement. From their vast experience they were able to tell me that the site was quite unique and extremely important for the future of the species. I caught 16 individual Nightingales at Bainton in 2011 and probably there were several more across the site which evaded the nets. In 2012, a national survey is taking place in the UK and this is happening because the species has suffered an almost catastrophic decline over the last few years. The reasons for this are not fully understood but now, thanks to the BTO team, we have a better idea where they spend their winter in Africa and it could well be that pressure on land use and climate change are major contributors to the decline. A few birds were fitted with small data loggers and were retrapped back at their summer site in Norfolk where the downloaded data finally cracked the puzzle of where they go in Africa. Interestingly, they also caught a bird at that site which I’d ringed here in 2007 and in habitat totally different to that at Bainton. We are at the northern edge of the birds’ UK range and the population levels here are significant and vitally important for its future. Bainton will play a big part in the 2012 survey for sure.
Another bird also struggling and one very familiar to just about everyone is the Cuckoo. I would imagine just about all of you would have heard one if you fished the site in the spring and summer last year. Early on the morning of 12 May (4.35am to be precise!), no less than 3 males were calling at the same time – something almost unheard of these days. In fact it’s one of the species that most folk now constantly tell me that they haven’t heard ‘for years’. At a farm in the Vale of Belvoir, where I do some survey work for the BTO, the farmer bemoans the fact that he hasn’t had a single calling Cuckoo on his farm for at least 5 years whereas, in previous years, they were regular summer visitors. So, although, like the Nightingale I’m sure they drive you mad and keep you awake sometimes, I do hope that we can just spare a thought for the countless thousands of extremely envious folk across the country that are not quite as fortunate as we are. What a poor world it would be indeed without the call of the Cuckoo and the comforting ‘purring’ of the Turtle Dove, another site speciality and often to be seen perched on the overhead wires –and yes, yet another species to have been hammered over the last quarter of a century. For someone as passionate as I am about birds, it’s almost heartbreaking to witness the decline in species I was so familiar with as a lad and I know from talking to so many of you that you too are interested in the wider world around you at Bainton. Certainly, I get a very clear message that the general ambience of the place is greatly enhanced by the wildlife we all enjoy.
Let’s hope that we and those that follow can also enjoy the sights and sounds of this very, very special place for generations to come.
Have a great season
Chris Hughes

And Finally…….
Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task. Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop.

Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.

Ian Wakeford


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July 2011 Tench Stocking

In July 2011 a stocking of 16 Tench took place into the L shape pit.

These fish were from a local carp fishery near Huntington and from previous experience are extrememly difficult to obtain. I hope you enjoy the photos and enjoy catching the fish. The sizes range from 7.5 pounds downwards, average weight about 6lbs.


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2010 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the tenth 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 2009 – 2010
There continues to be significant demand for permits on the complex. 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. Operating profits have been spent on fish stocking, staff, (bailiff and contract labour), swim building materials, a few tools and admin costs (e.g. Stamps/Printing etc).

The really good news is that lease costs for 2010/11 have only increased by a nominal inflationary amount. Therefore the permits will increase in cost by £2.50 for day fishing and £5.00 for night fishing to reflect this. Keys however have become expensive of late and Bainton Fisheries has been loosing money on the supply of keys to anglers. Therefore the new price will be £10.00 for new members.

For 2010 – 2011 the prices are:-

Non-fishing Permit: – £17.50

Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £127.50

24-Hour Permit: – £255.00

Keys will be £10.00

Stockings News
In the 2009/10 only one small stocking was managed. This was 500lb of bream in the 5-7lb range which went int0 the L-Shape, some tench were also moved from the Orchid Lake into the L-Shape after capture to create a greater presence of this species to hopefully start breeding. Double the amount of stock lost from the fish kill of 2006 has now been stocked into the L-Shape over the past three years and this fishery can now be considered as a serious prospect for the pleasure angler.

Fishery Maintenance and Development
A working party weekend was held on the 10th and 11th May 2009 with the fishery being closed to anglers during the day. On the Saturday enough eager volunteers turned up to complete the programme of work on the Carp Lake, but on the Sunday the turnout was very disappointing and only some basic gardening was achieved.

Working party dates
In 2010 year there will be 2 working parties, and they will take place over one weekend. The fishery is closed to fishing on all lakes from 9am on Saturday the 24th April until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 25th April to 5pm. Anglers with 24 hour tickets are more than welcome to fish nights outside of these hours, however they must remove their equipment to a safe distance to avoid any possibility of damage, e.g. falling branches.

In order to take advantage of the new stocking levels on the L-Shape the whole weekend will be dedicated to creating sustainable access to swims on this lake. The major items of work that need to take place are as follows:-

• Creating flat areas to fish from along the main road bank.
• Salvaging and repairing overgrown swims along the field bank.
• Heavy duty gardening along the National Grid Wood bank and to allow for car parking and car turning.

Bow saws, loppers, pole cutters, spades, shovels, chest waders, lump hammers, wheel barrows, very thick gloves, reed rakes are all useful to bring.
Please meet by parking either side of the Bailey Bridge at 9am, plant machinery will hopefully be used so we need to keep the main road clear.

Feedback from Members Meeting
The tenth members’ meeting was held at the Tallington Lakes Bar, Tallington, on 23rd March 2010. This had a fantastic good turn out with about 70 members which was excellent.

• A significant time was spent discussing the L-Shape lake and the future development of it, and it was noted that without significant improvement to the track surface it would forever remain little fished. Therefore the targeting of the working part to the L-Shape was supported by members.
• Baitboats were discussed again but the crux of the issue seemed to be the breaking of existing rules and using a bait boat to do it. It was agreed that a tougher line would be taken with anglers who were reported to be breaking the rules with baitboats (rule 12 and 34). Any angler fishing in a manner that would endanger the welfare of fish would have a warning and if repeated would have their membership revoked.

A discussion was held about publicity of captures, it was felt in general that there was nothing in principle against anglers publishing their captures, however it was agreed that the wording would be no more explicit than a “Cambridgeshire Gravel Pit.” This would be added to the rules to avoid any future misunderstanding.

• It was agreed that a swim being closed on the big pit was to prevent anglers fishing two lakes simultaneously. After a discussion it was agreed that the rules should be changed to explicitly forbid anglers from fishing two lakes at once, although it was already in the EA byelaw rule. The swim would be reopened and the situation monitored.

• It was suggested from the floor that if prospective anglers wishing to join Bainton Fisheries attended a working party then they could be given priority. It is a useful suggestion that needs further consideration but the Working Parties are prior to the renewals deadline and these prospective members would not be covered by public liability insurance.

• Anglers using Vans was also asked to be raised, after a discussion the following factor emerged. Swims are designed by the fishery management, and vary in size according to the available space and the purpose of the swim. However the original conceived size should not be enlarged without permission and low level gardening as per the rules should only take place to ensure that annual vegetation growth is checked, but not increased in size. So the issue was more about not increasing original swim sizes to accommodate vans. If a van would not fit the swim, then an alternative swim should be sought or the angler should use a bivvy.

• It was also agreed the covering letter out to new members should clearly state that they are not to enter the site until June 15th each year, to avoid too much pestering of existing members.

• The deadline for renewal will be to ensure that all applications are received no later that Tuesday 11th May 2010 to ensure that membership does not lapse, thereafter; existing members will compete with new applications.

• Anglers should note that if they wish to sponsor an angler to join Bainton Fisheries it to ensure a good chance of consideration an early return of their application is advised to avoid disappointment.

A Note from the Bird Ringer!!

It doesn’t seem five minutes since I was ringing the last of the summer migrants as they headed off south to winter in Africa and yet, here I am again, itching to get my hands on one of these little miracles that’s journeyed many thousands of miles to return, not just to the UK but to the exact same location they’ve been to many times before. And that location is of course Bainton.

I’m always mightily impressed when I retrap a bird I know has spent the winter in sub-Saharan Africa and none gives me a greater thrill than the Nightingale. These magnificent birds, often heard but rarely seen, start arriving at Bainton in April and one of the first I caught in 2009 was a really old friend – a male bird ringed in June 2005. This old chap has been retrapped every year since and must have a few miles on the clock by now. Although it is now many years since man first set foot on the moon, incredibly we still don’t know exactly where in Africa our Nightingales spend their winter months. In 100 years of ringing in Britain, only 10 birds ringed in this country have been recovered abroad, one of which was a Bainton bird ringed on 5 June 2008 and caught by French ringers at Saint-Froult, Charente Maritime on 31 August 2008. Being so unusual, this record made the local and national press and I was relieved it was at least heading in the right direction i.e. south.

Birds do some really funny things sometimes and on 30 August I caught a juvenile Reed Warbler that had been ringed elsewhere in Britain. I found out a few weeks later from the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) that it had been ringed at Icklesham, Sussex on 25 August and had decided to head north-north west instead of south. Why I don’t know but talking to the experts at the BTO, this year several young Reed Warblers decided to head north before rebooting their sat nav and heading in the proper direction. One that seemed to get it right first time was a juvenile, ringed at Bainton on the same day I caught the Icklesham bird. This young shaver was caught again on the south coast on 10 September at…….yep, Icklesham – the exact same site where my ‘lost’ youngster had been ringed. Perhaps the wanderer tagged along and hopefully they’ll both make it back in 2010 to breed.
The ringing at Bainton is part of a scientific study run by the BTO and this study monitors the fortunes of 25 species, most of which occur here. The trapping and ringing of these birds is the bread and butter stuff but every now and again the spectacular happens and in June, I was staggered to find a Hobby glaring at me from the bottom shelf of one of my nets. These fantastic little falcons – a summer visitor from Africa – are regularly seen at Bainton wheeling around the skies as they chase dragonflies. These are caught in mid-air, their wings stripped off and then the rest of it quickly eaten. I often watch them as they cruise around, head down, one leg clutching a luckless dragonfly as they set about their meal. Nonchalant or what!

Anyway, after a much better summer in 2009, let’s hope 2010 brings us lots of birds to ring and fish to catch. As ever, if you see my trusty Skoda you’ll know I’m around so please feel free to pop over for a chat and, maybe, enjoy a close up view of some of our wonderful visitors from many thousands of miles away.

Chris Hughes

March 2010

And Finally…….
Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task. Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop.

Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.

Ian Wakeford


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June 2009 Bream Stocking

In June 2009 500lb of Bream in the 5-7lb range were purchased having obtained them from an estate lake that was requiring cropping for cash. These fish were as usual in excellent condition but had already spawned for that year so their weight were low for their frame.

This stocking now means that double the loss of fish in the August 2006 tradegy have now been stocked and Bainton Fisheries now considers this lake as a viable option for fishing now.


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2009 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the ninth 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 2008 – 2009

There continues to be significant demand for permits on the complex. 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. Operating profits have been spent on fish stocking, staff, (bailiff and contract labour), swim building materials, a few tools and admin costs (e.g. Stamps/Printing etc).

A new lease for the site has been negotiated and is affordable, but there will need to be a significant permit price increase to reflect the new world that we have to live within.

For 2009 – 2010 the prices are:-

Non-fishing Permit: – £17.00

Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £125.00

24-Hour Permit: – £250.00

Keys will remain at £6.00.

Stockings News

In the 2008/9 only one small stocking was managed. This was a stocking of pike 22lb, 2 x 18lb 17lb and a few smaller fish into the Carp Lake . A combination of the economic situation and poor weather early in the year has lead to a lack of people willing to part with fish and lack of opportunity in the traditional netting season. The uncertainty during the lease negotiation period also did not help matters. There are some very active leads however on stock and hopefully before the new season more fish will go into the L shape pit.

Fishery Maintenance and Development

Two working parties were held in 2008; These concentrated on building 7 new swims on the New pit, as agreed at the 2008 Members meeting. These swims are to act a formal designated spots to fish from. The road along the Maxey Cut bank of the was also repaired using stones at one of the working parties.

Working party dates

This year there will be 2 working parties, but they will take place over one weekend. The fishery is closed to fishing on all lakes from 9am on Saturday the 10 th May until 5pm and again from 9am on Sunday the 11 th May to 5pm. Anglers with 24 hour tickets are more than welcome to fish nights outside of these hours, however they must remove their equipment to a safe distance to avoid any possibility of damage, e.g. falling branches.

The major items of work that need to take place are as follows:-

. Carp Lake – general cutting back of trees to allow casting. Cut back two trees that are in the water to prevent fish snagging. Repair some swims with steps and sleepers to prevent anglers slipping down sloped banks.

. Bailey Bridge Pit – general trimming of trees.

. L Shape – Create two swims along the road bank to encourage anglers to fish the restocked L Shape and trimming of trees that have grown through the lake’s lack of use.

. Big Pit – block up holes in fence with harvested Hawthorn bushes to prevent poachers and some reed clearing.

. Match Pit – General gardening along the wooded bank.

Bow saws, loppers, pole cutters, spades, shovels, chest waders, lump hammers, wheel barrows, very thick gloves, reed rakes are all useful to bring.

Please meet on the Saturday at the Bailey Bridge Pit at 9am. On the Sunday please meet at the Concrete Platform by the New Pit at 9am.

Feedback from Members Meeting

The ninth members’ meeting was held at the Tallington Lakes Bar, Tallington, on 31st March 2009. This had a fantastic good turn out with about 75 members which was excellent and up on the 60 attendees for 2008. The theme to many of the issues raised was around considerate behaviour to other anglers and the New Pit again.

•  A lengthy debate was held on the road access around the New pit, although strong views were expressed it was agreed that there would be a trial of closing vehicle access between the New Pit and Stock pond and also the Big Pit and the New pit. The small fence at the North East corner of the New pit would be opened up to allow anglers to easily access the bank from the East. In effect creating car parking spots at either end of the North Bank of the New Pit.

•  Stalking around the New pit outside of the designated swims was raised as an issue. Again opinions were expressed in support and against, but the issue seems to stem from the inability to cast round overgrown reeds. Therefore at the working party some facing up of the reed beds will take place to negate the need to wander away from the designated swims.

•  The EA bye-law about leaving rods unattended was also discussed, clearly the byelaw is non-negotiable but an interpretation on what is unattended was also discussed. In conclusion fish welfare is the paramount factor and where the Fishery Owner or Bailiff considers an action to be inappropriate the angler will be brought to task. In summary if you want to wander off away from your rods, wind in beforehand, it’s not fair on the fish.

•  Sponsorship of members was also raised, it was stated that existing members should be able to ensure that anglers had a sound reputation as an angler as it would reflect on their own membership of the fishery. Two members had been banned in 2008/9 who were both sponsored that year. Although sponsorship did seem to ensure quality anglers with the right attitude were in the main joining Bainton Fisheries.

•  The deadline for renewal will be to ensure that all applications are received no later that Friday 15th May 2009 to ensure that membership does not lapse, thereafter; existing members will compete with new applications.

•  Last year over 120 anglers were sponsored to join Bainton Fisheries and only 40 anglers could join due to limited number of anglers giving up their membership. If members do plan to sponsor an angler an early return of their application is advised to avoid disappointment.

Due to the increase in permit costs and a different approach to encouraging attendance at the working parties by shutting the fishery, there will be no working party levy in 2009/10. Anglers who attended the 2008 working party can claim their £10 discount from their application form.

A Note from the Bird Ringer!!

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse – it did! After a pretty shocking summer in 2007, 2008 was worse, at least from the perspective of lots of our breeding birds. The strong winds and heavy rain in the late summer put paid to many broods of young birds. So, another long trip from Africa for nothing.

The great thing about birds though is that they’ll be back again any time now to try again and, for me, it’s a real pleasure to welcome back ‘old friends’ to Bainton. The oldest in 2008 was a female Reed Warbler, ringed here in 2000 and caught again in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008. Where it went in the ‘missing’ years is not known as it wasn’t caught elsewhere. Maybe it just swerved round the Bainton nets as it clearly likes the area – and who can blame it – as it keeps turning up. Strangely though, some birds will turn up out of the blue many years after being ringed and often these are resident species like Blue Tit which are not renowned for long distance travel, unlike the many warbler species travelling up from the African continent. Even though I’ve handled thousands of these fantastic birds, I still feel it is a huge privilege to be able to do so and I remain in awe at the way they manage to survive all that nature (and man) can throw at them.

Bainton remains one of the key sites in Britain for monitoring our bird populations, irrespective of the weather. Every summer around 120 sites in the country are monitored for the British Trust for Ornithology by dedicated amateurs like me (dedicated or bonkers – probably a bit of both!) with nets being set up pre-dawn and ringing going on for around 6 hours. By the time I’ve driven over from rural Leicestershire where I live, got the nets up, ringed, taken them down again and got home, I’m out of the house for at least 12 hours each session. 12 visits are made between late April and the end of August each year so, by the time the season ends, I’m a bit cream crackered, especially as I run another monitoring site in Leicestershire and oversee yet another in Cambridgeshire. Since 1986 when Bainton was first ringed, 294 ringing sessions have taken place so the triple century should arrive around July 2009. Thankfully, I’ve not done them all as I didn’t become involved with Bainton until 1993 but I’ve done many, many sessions over the years and still get a buzz. If you’ll excuse the pun, I’m hooked!

After two pretty lousy summers, the birds are due for a break so, as ever, I’m optimistic that 2009 will bring good fortune for them all – and for you too as you strive to land that big ‘un. How fortunate we all are to be able to follow our hobbies – passion even – in such a wonderful place.

As ever, if you see me hanging around, please feel free to come and have a look at what I’m up to. You’ll be most welcome.

Chris Hughes

April 2009

And Finally

Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task. Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop.

Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.

Ian Wakeford


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March 2009 Carp Lake Pike Stocking

In March 2009 Bainton Fisheries obtained some pike from a pike removal operation, 120lb of pike were stocked into the Carp Pit, including this 21lb beauty, a 19lber, and two 18lb fish plus a few backup up fish in the 8-12lb bracket.


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2008 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the eighth 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 2007 – 2008

There continues to be significant demand for permits on the complex. 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. Operating profits have been spent on fish stocking, staff, (bailiff and contract labour), swim building materials, a few tools and admin costs (e.g. Stamps/Printing etc).

Stockings News

In the 2007/8 season four stockings were managed. As agreed at the 2007 members meeting supplies of Bream and/or Tench were to be sought for stocking for pleasure anglers. To summarise fish purchased during 2007 – 2008 :-

In May 2007 a netting of Buckden Gravel Pits, near Huntingdon produced a few specimen fish which were stocked into the following; L Shape 13lb bream and a handful of fish 7-8lb, 10lb and 7lb tench plus some smaller tench, Orchid 20lb and 24lb carp , Carp Lake 15lb and 20lb Pike.

Also in May 2007 a netting of Culverthorpe Estate Lake , bear Grantham produced a large quantity (125lb) of small bream, mainly in the 4oz to 1.5lb range; these were stocked into the L Shape.

In December 2007, 33 Carp in the 5-10lb Bracket from Centre-Parcs, Nottingham and stocked into the L shape Pit. These fish had previously had an existence of being hand fed by guests of Centre-Parcs.

In February 2008, 35 Bream were stocked into the L Shape Pit. These fish were removed from Goady Marwood Estate Lake and were in the 4-5lb Bracket.

If members know of lake owners who would be interested in selling fish to Bainton Fisheries then please pass their details to me.

Fishery Maintenance and Development

Two working parties were held in 2007; 3 Swims were opened up on the Orchid lake using mainly railway sleepers and pea gravel and weed was also transferred from the Orchid into the L shape pit. The other working concentrated mainly on fence and swim repairs and gardening around the complex.

Working party dates

This year there will be working parties as follows:-

Sunday 27th April from 9 am – New Pit mainly and some repairs to the Big Pit and Carp lake swims. Redesign of New pits swims to limit number of anglers, repair of point swim on East bank of big pit and some minor swim repairs on the Carp Lake . Generally lump hammers, shovels, spades, chest waders, wheel barrows are all useful plus usual gardening tools.

Sunday 18th May from 9am Carp Lake , rebuilding the road along the Maxey Cut Bank; shovels and rakes needed.

In terms of arranging a plan of action for the working party days I would be grateful if members could either e-mail or ring me before hand to say they are coming. This will enable me to plan the tasks ahead for the day.

Feedback from Members Meeting

The eighth members’ meeting was held at the Millstone Pub, Barnack on 1st April 2008. This had a very good turn out with about 60 members which was excellent. The theme to many of the issues raised was around considerate behaviour to other anglers and the future of the New Pit.

The main items discussed: –

After a lengthy debate about the future of the New pit the following actions were agreed by majority vote of members:-

• A netting will be organised on the New Pit to remove double figure carp and move them to the big pit, where they will hopefully grow on to bigger fish. As part of this netting tench and bream that are caught will be moved to the L Shape pit.

• Designated swims will be identified on the New Pit at a working party and only those swims will be allowed to be fished from. These swims will try to ensure that anglers do not fish opposite each other and have a variety of options to fish margins on both sides of the lakes.

• The rod limit will be three rods all year round now on the New Pit as the swim design will hopefully lead to this being a happy compromise between limiting anglers versus limiting rods in the summer months.

• With swims being at a premium on the New Pit, there was discussion about anglers therefore reserving swims with bivvies and then claiming that they were fishing and subsequently left the complex for up to 6 hours, as permitted by the rules.

• As a result a 3 day (72 hours) maximum fishing time will come into force on the New Pit without return for a further 3 day (72 hours) on this pit only. Anglers can continue to stay on the complex but must leave the New Pit after three days to allow other anglers the opportunity to fish.

• Concern continued about the size of unhooking mats and landing nets on the complex, although a rule was introduced mandating the use of large unhooking mats; some anglers were still using inadequate mats and nets. It was agreed to change the rules to ensure that Pike, Carp and Catfish had an unhooking mat of a minimum of 1m in length and 50cm wide. Landing nets too should be at least 42 inch for these species.

• It was agreed that the Environment Agency Byelaw about rods being left unattended was still being ignored by some anglers, active enforcement would continue on this issue.

• The rule about anglers cars being parked without consideration to other anglers was discussed. It was felt that large vans and trucks were being parked very close to the waters edge creating a visual eyesore and also doors were being slammed shut creating a disturbance. It was felt that the existing rule was adequate, but people just needed to consider the impact they were having upon other people’s enjoyment, both from a visual perspective and also the disturbance to others fishing.

• It was proposed that the 15lb mono rule for pike, should be amended to ensure that braid of equivalent diameter was used also to 15lb mono.

• Anglers were reminded about the littering rule, and that teabags and cigarette butts were also included as litter and should be taken home.

• Communication between anglers was discussed, after the Internet Service Provider broke the Bainton Fisheries Bulletin Board, the group was informed that a new bulletin board had been added to the web site with immediate effect.

• The deadline for renewal will be to ensure that all applications are received no later that Tuesday 20th May 2008 to ensure that membership does not lapse, thereafter; existing members will compete with new applications.

• The sponsorship of new members was also discussed; it was felt that last years new proposal was a success and that it should continue. This would allow for the new member’s application to be returned in the SAE supplied along with the existing members own renewal. Applications would be prioritised in the following order. 1st Existing members, 2nd New members refereed by an exiting member, 3rd New members applying after May 20th 2008 without a referee. Members should not recommend any angler who they have concerns over as it will reflect upon their own membership.

• The costs of running the fishery will increase by 5% during 2008/9 therefore permit cost will need to increase to reflect this. In addition all fishing permits will again include a refundable £10.00 levy to encourage members to attend working parties. Attendees of the 2007 working parties will get a £10 discount on their following years renewal.

Non-fishing Permit: – £16.00

Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £60.00 + £10.00 levy

24-Hour Permit: – £115.00 + £10 levy

Keys will remain at £6.00.

A Note from the Bird Ringer!!

2007 saw the Silver Jubilee of the Constant Effort Site (CES) ringing scheme run by the British Trust for Ornithology. For most of that time, Bainton has been one of the scheme’s premier sites and remains so despite a pretty disastrous breeding season for lots of birds in 2007. As you sat there with rain dripping of the end off your nose, patiently waiting for a bite, I hope you were sparing a thought for the poor old summer visitors who had slogged it out to reach Bainton from sub- Saharan Africa.

Most of our warbler species fared badly due to the extremely wet weather and even old favourites like Blue and Great Tit had their worst breeding year for at least a quarter of a century. Just when they needed hundreds of caterpillars to feed their young, the incessant rain (and cold) washed them off the trees. Result – 10 million, yes 10 million young Blue Tits are estimated to have perished due to starvation. It’s only possible to work out these sums, using some fancy computer modelling and the data from 120 CES sites in the UK . Bainton, along with nearby Ferry Meadows are two of the ‘best’ sites around.

And now for some good news! It wasn’t all gloom and doom and some species managed to get well into their breeding cycle during the glorious April weather with Robin doing particularly well. The real eye opener was catching juvenile Long tailed Tits in early May, at least 3 weeks earlier than normal so there should be quite a few of these delightful little birds buzzing around in 2008.

Bird ringing is a bit like fishing in that you never quite know what you’re going to catch. Where it differs is that you guys no doubt bait the likeliest spots to attract feeding fish onto the hook but the CES scheme doesn’t allow me to artificially feed or tape lure birds so I have to work out where the best net sites are and, well, hope for the best. Interestingly, I have to keep the nets in the same place year after year in order that the data I collect is statistically valid so, apart from a little light ‘gardening’ to keep the brambles at bay, I’m stuck with what I’ve got. However, the vegetation doesn’t grow too vigorously so I still catch good numbers of birds. Well I do in a ‘normal’ year anyway.

Just to prove how perverse ringing can be, for most of the year the catches were very modest yet on 6 th August, the nets were bulging with birds, mainly warblers, heading south on migration. I know this because some Bainton ringed birds were picked up again only a few days later on the south coast as they headed off to their winter quarters. Most travel down through France , Portugal and Spain , over the Med and head off into Africa .

Some species like Blackcaps will winter in North Africa but others, such as Willow Warbler (weighing in at a hefty 8g!) have a trip over the Sahara to face. Having been there a couple of times myself, I’m constantly amazed at their ability to survive the trip and when I catch one back at Bainton the following spring, knowing that this modest little bird has made such a fantastic return journey, it’s quite humbling. Salmon also undertake fantastic journeys as you know. And we think we’re smart!

I hope you all have a successful fishing season in 2008 and I hope our feathered friends have a good year too. Listen out for the Nightingales from late April/early May as Bainton is a cracking place to hear them. One of them might just be the one ringed in Denmark in 2002 who made another appearance in 2007.

Chris Hughes

And Finally

Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task. Please think as it as much as yours as mine. Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop.

Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.

Ian Wakeford


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June 2007 Culverthorpe Bream Removal

In June 2007 Bainton Fisheries were invited to perform a Bream removal on Culverthorpe Lake, near Grantham. Some members volunteered for a mid week session pulling a 200m net around the shallow end of the lake. All in all about 125lb of useful skimmers were extracted and stocked into the L Shape.


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May 2007 Buckden Fish Removal

In May 2007 Bainton Fisheries obtained permission to extract fish from Buckden Gravel pits. The fish quantity in this complx of gravel pits was unknown, but it was regulary “poached” by carp anglers on this private complex. After an initial day of site surveying two lakes were selected for electro fishing. Only one of these produced any fish, but a mixed bag of a few large carp, pike, bream and tench were extracted and stocked into Bainton Fisheries, Pike into the Carp Lake, Bream (one of 13lb!) and Tench (10lb) was stocked into the L Shape and the carp went into the Orchid. Although not a huge haul weight wise, the specimin fish the pits revealed were excellent and the bream potential is excellent for a further removal if it can ever be arranged.

A 24lb Common going into the Orchid. One of several…..


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2007 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the seventh 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 2006 – 2007

There continues to be significant demand for permits on the complex. 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. Operating profits have been spent on fish stocking, staff, (bailiff and contract labour), swim building materials, a few tools and admin costs (e.g. Stamps/Printing etc).

Stockings News

In 2006 one stocking was managed. As agreed at the 2006 members meeting supplies of Bream and/or Tench were to be sought for stocking for pleasure anglers. To summarise fish purchased during 2006 – 2007 :-

· In July 2006, 29 Bream were stocked into the L Shape Pit. These fish were uncaught fish having been removed from Abbey Park Boating Pool in Leicester .

If members know of lake owners who would be interested in selling fish to Bainton Fisheries then please pass their details to me.

Fishery Maintenance and Development

Two working parties were held in 2006; Swims were repaired and opended up on the L Shape lake using mainly railway sleepers. However attendance on the second working party was rather disappointing limiting the amount of work that could be undertaken.

Working party dates

This year there will be working parties as follows:-

Sunday 22nd April from 9am – Big Pit, general repair of wave eroded swims along East bank and erection of barbed wire fence along main road. Useful to bring waders, shovels, bow saws, thick gloves, hammers, wheel barrows. Park inside main gate and walk down please.

Sunday 20th May from 9am – Orchid Pit, converting overgrown swims along the South Bank to allow pleasure angling all year. Please bring lump hammers, cordless drill and screw driver bits, bow saws, chest waders as this will probably involve erecting scaffold and laying timber on platforms. Plus all the usual gardening tools. Weed will also be transferred from the Orchid to the L Shape, so weed rakes would also be useful.

In terms of arranging a plan of action for the working party days I would be grateful if members could either e-mail or ring me before hand to say they are coming. This will enable me to plan the tasks ahead for the day.

Feedback from Members Meeting

The seventh members’ meeting was held at the Millstone Pub, Barnack on 20th April 2007. This had a very good turn out with about 60 members which was excellent. The theme to many of the issues raised for discussion at the meeting seemed to centre on ensuring security of the site, considerate behaviour to anglers and fish conservation.

The main items discussed: –

· Visitors to anglers – it was agreed that members must take responsibility for visitors to ensure that they abide by the fishery rules. Members should meet visitors at the gate, let them in and escort them on and off the site, relocking the gate. The car of a visitor should be parked displaying a note in the window as to the member they are visiting, stating the members name and permit number.

· The issue of not having a photo ID on the permit was discussed and the various pro’s and cons aired. In the end it was decided that the risk of anglers lending a non member a permit to fish were possible but validating unknown anglers with secondary ID such as a rod license should be tried first.

· The barded wire fence along the main road of the big pit had been trampled down in a few places by people and it was agreed that a working party would address this issue.

· Concern was also raised about some damage being caused to fish by careless handling on the bank. It was agreed that although unhooking mats were mandatory, that the rules should be amended to ensure that anglers targeting Pike, Carp or Catfish must have a large unhooking mat with a retention flap. Anglers should also take care to ensure that potentially sharp object like rings and watch straps are removed before holding fishing as they can remove scales.

· It was agreed that the Environment Agency Byelaw that “Any person who leaves a rod and line with its bait or hook in the water unattended or so that the person shall be unable at any time to take or exercise sufficient control over said rod and line shall be guilty of an offence” would be actively enforced on the fishery as too many rods were being left unattended by anglers.

· The number or anglers targeting the New Pit was discussed, rather than limit the number of anglers, it was decided that only two rods would be permitted from 1st April until 30th September. From 1st October until 31st March, the limit would be three rods for this pit only. This rule would commence 16th June 2007.

· Communication between anglers was discussed, it was agreed that the photo gallery was being well used and that a bulletin board would be added to the web site. This would be moderated and only members would be allowed to join.

· The events causing the fish kill on the L shape was discussed and a recent report from the environment agency confirmed that with the exception of the Greater Pond Snail, the invertebrate food chain was very healthy and oxygen levels were normal. It was agreed that the working party on the orchid would transfer large quantities of weed from the Orchid to attempt to transfer snails and their eggs but also to try and establish more weed growth in the L Shape. This weed would attempt act as a buffer against future dissolved oxygen level crashes.

· With regards to restocking, fish would be acquired during the spring to hopefully ensure that the L Shape becomes a viable angling proposition by June 16th 2007. Schemes were well under way to source fish during April and May and members may be required to help on netting duties if required. The pit would be restored to a mixed fishery.

· The issue of allowing keepnets for tench for match angling was discussed, but it was agreed that if anglers were concerned about allowing a returning fish to disturb their swim, they should release it further along the bank.

· The non attendance of anglers at working parties was discussed, members felt that an approach utilised by other angling clubs should be established. Therefore it was agreed that a working party levy of £10 would be added to all permits, this levy would be returned to any angler should they attend a working party in the following year. Anglers due to weekend commitments who cannot attend and who still want to take part in fishery maintenance should contact the bailiff or fishery owner for a job. The following years application would offer the £10 back as a discount on next years ticket, or if the angler wishes to leave the fishery, will be returned upon receipt of gate key. Anglers over 65 years or with a disability would be exempt from the working party levy and their attendance at working parties is at their discretion.

· The deadline for renewal will be to ensure that all applications are received no later that Tuesday 15th May 2007 to ensure that membership does not lapse, thereafter; existing members will have to compete with new applications.

· The vetting of new members was also discussed; it was felt that existing members should act as a referee for new members to the fishery, thus ensuring that their good character and positive attitude towards conservation would be validated. It was agreed that as part of the renewals pack existing members would receive a new member application form. This would allow for the new member from to be returned in the SAE supplied along with the existing members own renewal. Applications would be prioritised in the following order. 1st Existing members, 2nd New members refereed by an exiting member, 3rd New members applying after May 15th 2007 without a referee. Members should not recommend any angler who they have concerns over as it will reflect upon their own membership.

· The costs of running the fishery will increase by 5% during 2007/8 therefore permit cost will need to increase to reflect this. In addition all fishing permits will include a refundable £10.00 levy to encourage members to attend working parties.

Non-fishing Permit: – £15.50

Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £57.50 + £10.00 levy

24-Hour Permit: – £110.00 + £10 levy

Keys will remain at £6.00.

A Note from the Bird Ringer!!

Those of you who’ve seen me emerging from the reedbeds looking pretty bedraggled at some unearthly hour of the morning may well have worked out that I’m the bloke who traps and rings wild birds at Bainton. I often think I’m the only one about as it’s usually dark when I arrive but most days, as dawn breaks I spot a few hardy fishermen also enjoying that magical time of the early morning. And in spring, when the dawn chorus is at its very best, what a treat it is. I know you’d probably prefer to be playing with some wonderful fish but it is worth pausing and thinking that a huge number of these songsters have travelled many thousands of miles to serenade us. The very best of these is of course the Nightingale and Bainton is one of the very best sites to hear this superb bird. In 2006 I caught 20 of these rather drab, nondescript birds (apart from their rufous tail) and they’re not often seen but you can’t mistake the fabulous rich song as it blasts out. Contrary to popular belief, they don’t just sing at night so listen out for them in May as they’ll keep going most of the day. And in May last year a really special one paid a visit to Bainton. This particular bird had been ringed in Tipperne, Egvad , Denmark in May 2002 and was caught by me at Bainton in June 2003. What made it special then was that it was the first ever Danish ringed Nightingale to be recovered anywhere in the world and was only the 3rd ever foreign ringed Nightingale to be recovered in Britain . Imagine my surprise then when he re-appeared again in May 2006! It would be really great if he turned up again this year.

Another very special bird for the site is the Reed Warbler and a bird ringed at Bainton way back in 1988 is the oldest known Reed Warbler in Europe , having been re-trapped here again on many occasions and finally in 2001. Incidentally, one year he defected to Rutland Water and was caught by the ringing team there but he finally realised that Bainton had much more to offer and remained faithful to the site for many years. Considering these birds spend their winter in countries such as Senegal , Nigeria , Botswana and Namibia he must have put many thousands of miles on the clock over the years. Weighing in at about 11 grammes, it makes you think. Some motor!

Bainton is one of around 120 sites in Britain where birds are trapped under the Constant Effort Site (CES) programme. This is a long running scientific study of bird populations, breeding success rates and survival rates and is run by The British Trust for Ornithology. Bainton, along with nearby Ferry Meadows is one of the longest running sites and the data collected from both places has made a significant contribution to our understanding of how our avian populations are faring. 2006 was a good year for most species – although Sedge Warblers seem to be in decline – and almost 1400 birds were trapped and processed here.

Best wishes to you all for a successful fishing season in 2007 and if you see me around – and haven’t got a bite to deal with – come over for look at what I’m doing. You’ll be most welcome.

Chris Hughes

And Finally

Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task. Please think as it as much as yours as mine. Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop. Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.

Ian Wakeford


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Mick Brown Pike Talk October 2006

As agreed at the 2006 members meeting, as talk by Mick Brown on pike fishing and safe pike angling took place on October 1st 2006. Mick spent some time reminiscing about his fishing experiences at Bainton in the late 80’s and early 90’s showing pictures from his book that had been taken at Bainton. Mick also discussed safe pike fishing and pike conservation and also took time to share rigs and techniques. About 25 members took the time to attend for what was an entertaining and informative talk.


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August 2006 L Shape Fish Kill

In August 2006 a terrible tragedy has befallen the L- Shape Lake.  The algal bloom over the summer suddenly crashed after thunder storms on several of the lakes.  However the subsequent bacterial bloom reduced the dissolved oxygen levels within the lake to a level where fish started to die.  The lack of pond weed in the L-Shape meant that the ability of plants to replace some of the dissolved oxygen was not there.  The impact of the algal bloom in other lakes was buffered by their weedy nature.  Emergency oxygenation kits from the Environment Agency were deployed as soon as the problem was detected however they had little impact as the bacterial bloom merely consumed the extra oxygen being put into the water.  All in all approx 600lb of fish died and had to be buried on site.  Mainly pike, perch, tench and bream.  It is not known how many large fish survived, however the assumption is being made that this was a total fish kill for all species over half a pound.  Smaller fish did survive, mainly pike and perch, that seemed to be able obtain oxygen from shallow weedy water in the margins.  Restocking will take place once it has been determined that the lake has totally recovered.


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July 2006 Bream Stocking

Following agreement at the April 2006 Members meeting it was agreed that stocks of Bream and/or tench would continue to be obtained to develop the pleasure angling side of the Fishery.  In July 2006, 29 Bream in the 3-5lb range were purchased and stocked into the L Shape Pit.  Again, these fish were uncaught fish having been removed from Abbey Park Boating Pool in Leicester as previously obtained in 2004 and 2005.  Pictures below indicate a sample fish and the stocking.


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2006 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the sixth 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 2005 – 2006

There continues to be significant demand for permits on the complex. 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. Operating profits have been spent on fish stocking, staff, (bailiff and contract labour), swim building materials, a few tools and admin costs (e.g. Stamps/Printing etc).

Stockings News

In 2004-5 two stockings were managed. As agreed at the 2005 members meeting supplies of Bream and/or Tench were to be sought for stocking for pleasure anglers. To summarise fish purchased during 2005 – 2006 :-

· In November 2005, 300lb of Bream in the 3-5lb range were purchased and stocked into the L Shape Pit. These fish were uncaught fish having been removed from Abbey Park Boating Pool in Leicester .

· In Febuary 2006, 15 Bream of between 3-4lb in weight, several hundred skimmers and rudd and 2 large Perch where electrofished out of the Grid Pit. The lake could not be netted as the weed in the lake was still 2 feet thick on the bottom. But the value of the fish equated to the cost of contractors for the day so it a worth while exercise nether the less.

If members know of lake owners who would be interested in selling fish to Bainton Fisheries then please pass their details to me.

Fishery Maintenance and Development

Two working parties were held in 2005; New swims were created along the Maxey Cut bank of the Orchid Lake using platforms. The stock pond and South bank of the New Pit had swims made safer.

Working party dates

This year there will be working parties as follows:-

Sunday 23rd April from 9am – L Shape, swim restoration and general gardening on complex. Useful to bring, loppers, shovels, wheel barrows.

Sunday 7th May from 9am – Big Pit, new swim and car space creation and general gardening. Useful to bring waders, shovels, bow saws, gloves.

In terms of arranging a plan of action for the working party days I would be grateful if members could either e-mail or ring me before hand to say they are coming. This will enable me to plan the tasks ahead for the day.

Feedback from Members Meeting

The sixth members’ meeting was held at the Millstone Pub, Barnack on 4th April 2006. This had a very good turn out with about 40 members. There was a theme emerging that common sense and conservation did seem to be missing from some angler’s mentality and as a result new rules had to be developed to protect the fishery from their behaviour which could result in their removal if breached.

The main items discussed: –

· Unauthorised swim opening beyond what was considered it’s original design was strongly criticised. It had been raised at last years meeting and still people were ignoring the request. It was decided to create a new rule where stems up to an inch thickness were allowed to be cut by anglers without authorisation by the bailiff of fishery owner.

· There had been serious concerns raised about the mishandling of pike that have been observed and poor rigs that had been used, sometimes resulting in wire traces having to be recovered by later captors. It was agreed a campaign of education would be offered to anglers, this would be arranged in time for the new season. It was also agreed that Pike fishing for would be limited to lure fishing only between 1St April and 30th September each year, this would be from immediate effect to protect the stocks. It was also agreed that the current wire trace rule would also include a minimum 15lb B.S. mainline for pike fishing.

· It was agreed that Rule 1 is to be extended to cover Tench and Bream as fish well in excess of 5lb had been witnessed be retained in keepnets.

· The issue of angler identification was discussed, it was agreed that this year the window sticker would be replaced with a dashboard card which anglers must display when on site. This would remove the issue of people changing cars, having two cars or having screens replaced.

· Rule 25 was to be amended to remove the requirement to leave a note if anglers leave the site for up to six hours.

· There was a proposal to fertilise the L Shape pit as per the Orchid Pit. This proposal would be investigated and costed and may take place during 2006; it may be too late for this year.

· Pot holes were discussed, members were reminded of the 10mph limit, please keep Andy happy, keep the speed down!

· Stocking was discussed; the continued development of the L shape would be the priority in 2006/7. Tench and Bream would be targeted.

· The costs of running the fishery have seen a significant increase again. This is mainly due to the lease going up again and the increased public liability insurance requirement of £5m instead of £2m. This has necessitated the following permit costs for the 2006-7 season.

Non-fishing Permit: – £15.00

Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £55.00

24-Hour Permit: – £105.00

A Note from the Bird Ringer!!

Some of you may have wondered who the strange bloke is emerging from the reeds with loads of linen bags hanging from hooks round his neck. Well, it’s me, Chris Hughes, a qualified and licensed bird ringer. Birds have been trapped and ringed (a small metal ring is attached round the birds leg, each ring carrying a unique number and a return address, usually The British Museum, London) for many years at Bainton and it is one of the most productive sites, in terms of numbers of birds caught, in the UK. For instance, over 10% of all Nightingales caught in the UK in 2004 were caught by me at this one site. The Nightingale is a site speciality and certainly lives up to its reputation as the very best songbird in Britain .

Much has been discovered about birds by counting and watching them but such methods rarely allow birds to be identified as individuals. This is essential if we are to learn more about how long they live and when and where they move, questions that are vital for bird conservation. Ringing provides a harmless and reliable method of identifying individual birds.

In 2005 I caught almost 1300 birds here, some of which had been ringed here many years before. It is always good to welcome back old friends knowing that they’ve spent the winter in sub Saharan Africa and interesting to see where ‘our’ birds go to. Last year one of the young Reed Warblers ringed at Bainton was caught again by French ringers near Bordeaux and a Goldcrest, Britain ‘s smallest bird weighing in at around 5g, was found in Haslemere in Surrey . Over the years, Bainton ringed birds have turned up all over Europe and migrant warblers have been caught again in several African countries.

So, if you see me lurking by my car please feel free to come over and see what I’m up to as I’ll be more than happy for you to see, at close quarters, many of the birds you may only see whizzing about in the sedge and reed – or past the tip of your rod!

With best wishes for a successful fishing season in 2006

Chris Hughes

And Finally

Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task. Please think as it as much as yours as mine. Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop. Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.


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February 2006 Electro Fishing

Bainton Fisheries in February 2006 hired some contractors to remove fish from the National Grid Pit to stock them into the L Shape.  It was a very cold day and the weed was still at least 2 feet thick on the bottom of the pit.  Therefore electro fishing seemed to be the only option.

In summary several hundred small fish mainly Skimmers and Rudd were removed, plus 15 bream of superb condition of approx 3-4lb in weight.

However 2 fabulous perch were also caught which were immaculate, weighing approx 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 lb each.


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November 2005 Bream Stocking

Following agreement at the April 2005 Members meeting it was agreed that stocks of Bream and/or tench would continue to be obtained to develop the pleasure angling side of the Fishery.  In November 2005, 300lb of Bream in the 3-5lb range were purchased and stocked into the L Shape Pit.  These fish were uncaught fish having been removed from Abbey Park Boating Pool in Leicester as previously obtained in 2004.  Pictures below indicate two sample fish.  It is hoped that further stocking into the L Shape will take place during the winter of 2005/6.


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2005 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the fifth Bainton Fisheries Newsletter, which is designed to keep you informed about the Fishery, in terms of news during the last season and some up and coming events and issues.

Membership 2004 – 2005 There continues to be significant demand for permits on the complex. 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. Most of the operating profits have been spent on fish stocking, swim building materials, a few tools and admin costs (e.g. Stamps/Printing etc). A small underspend has developed due to the lease on the Grid Pit not being invoiced as expected, which will be used to offset the 2005-6 season 5% increase in the main complex lease.

Stockings News In 2004-5 two stockings were managed. If members know of lake owners who would be interested in selling fish to Bainton Fisheries then please pass their details to me. As agreed at the 2004 members meeting supplies of Bream or Tench were to be sought for stocking for pleasure anglers. To summarise the 2004 – 2005 additions:- · In November 2004, 330lb of Bream in the 3-5lb range were purchased and stocked into the Stock Pond. These fish were uncaught fish having been removed from Abbey Park Boating Pool in Leicester. · In January 2005, 35 Carp up to 3lb were also stocked into the Stock pond, these were from a small lake at St Crispins Hospital, Northampton.

Fishery Maintenance and Development Three working parties were held in 2004, this year attendance was up on 2003, but a few more hands would have been appreciated. New swims were created along the West bank of the L shape, the Grid Pit was developed and swims made more usable along the back of the Match Pit.

Working party dates This year there will be working parties as follows:-

Sunday 24th April from 9am – Orchid Lake.

This will involve building four platforms. So chest waders, battery drills with screwdriver bits, socket sets and sledge hammers are particularly useful.

Sunday 15th May from 9am – Stock Pond, New Pit

This will involve cutting out steps down to the bank, spares shovels, wheel barrows, sledgehammers etc.

In terms of arranging a plan of action for the working party days I would be grateful if members could either e-mail or ring me before hand to say they are coming. This will enable me to plan the tasks ahead for the day. Grid Pit Saga

Members will recall that fishing rights were negotiated for the 2004-5 Season for the Grid Pit from an agent acting on the behalf on National Grid. After persistent reminders to send through the lease document and invoice we were finally informed that National Grid had changed their mind and would not now be letting the fishing rights to any organisiation. It is presumed that this was due to issues of liability with regards to proximity of the power cables. This was late in 2004 after the best part of the season had been enjoyed on the pond. It is my understanding that no one will be granted fishing rights nor will the water be bailiffed.

Feedback from Members Meeting

The fifth members’ meeting was held at the Millstone Pub, Barnack on 12th April. This had a very good turn out with about 60 members. The main items discussed: –

· Concern about the level of cormorants was discussed; in September 2004 new rules concerning the control of these birds came into force. It was agreed that English Nature would be contacted with a view to understanding if a licence would be granted.

· Members raised the issue of some swims being enlarged beyond their original size, which was well beyond modest gardening maintenance. It was agreed that permission should be sought from Bainton Fisheries before any major surgery was attempted. If in doubt, don’t do it!

· It was agreed that the L shape lake was the major concern for the 2005-6 season with regards to stocking. · It was agreed that the rules would be amended to ensure that anglers ensured that their rods were spaced out as per EA regulations, i.e. no more than 3 metres between them in total.

· It was announced that a bailiff would be appointed with immediate effect to ensure that recent concerns about the fishery were countered and ensure that rules were adhered to. Mr Andy Nutt had been offered and accepted the post. Mr Nutt would also be responsible for vermin control on the site as the previous incumbent was unable to fulfil this task anymore.

· The increasing litter problem was discussed, it was hoped that regular bailiffing would help to identify and ban the culprits from the fishery.

· It was agreed that the rules would change to make each angler responsible for litter in their swim, to ensure that all swims were clean before fishing and left clean, regardless of the origin.

· It was noted that there seemed to be a trend with some of the newer members to bend some of the rules, it was felt that minor breaches would be dealt with a “yellow card” warning in writing from Bainton Fisheries, a subsequent breach would result in a ban.

· It was anticipated that Car Stickers would now carry the membership number and permit type, to allow cars to be cross referenced to anglers and assist bailiffing.

· It was agreed that all renewals must be sent in by 24th May, (this means to return to the renewal address to arrive no late than first post on the 24th May), after this date, membership will have lapsed.

· After May 24th anglers who applied to join would be given a ticket for Bainton Fisheries in time for June 16th. · It was agreed to change the key pattern for the fishery as the pattern had been in circulation for 5 years, the cost of this would be added to the season ticket for 2005-6. The padlock will be changed at 4.00pm on June 15th. Members who do not wish to renew must exit the site before then.

· It was agreed that a sign warning of blue/green algae would be erected to deter dog owners from letting their dogs swim. · A replacement sign would be erected on the gate stating that it was a private fishery and that unauthorised access was not permitted.

· It was agreed that the litter rule would be extended to cover human and dog waste, ensuring that it was removed from the fishery.

· The possibility to move the access road to the South of the Weigh Bridge was discussed and further investigation would take place to see if this was possible with LeFage. This would reduce through traffic along the South Bank of the new pit which can disturb the fishing, especially late at night.

· Minor works were also identified, one of the match pit platforms needs repairing, the main gate needs adjusting on it’s hinges, a style needs replacing on the big pit and limiting car access to the NE corner of the New Pit would also be looked at.

· The extra costs associated with key changes and bailiffing necessitating new charges for the 2005-6 season.

The following prices were agreed. Non-fishing Permit: – £19.50 Dawn to Dusk Permit: – £52.50 24-Hour Permit: – £97.50

Charity Fish-in It was noted that no Charity Match had taken place in 2004, the matter was discussed and the possibility of having a “any species” match in the early autumn which would be considered.

And Finally Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task. Please think as it as much as yours as mine. Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop. I still think that things are getting better although I have been a little disappointed this year with some members attitude to the fishery. Remember the Bainton Philosophy is for conservation minded anglers who care about the environment they fish in.


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November 2004 Bream Stocking

Following agreement at the April 2004 Members meeting it was agreed that stocks of Bream and/or tench would continue to be obtained to develop the pleasure angling side of the Fishery.  In November 2004, 330lb of Bream in the 3-5lb range were purchased and stocked into the Stock Pond.  These fish were uncaught fish having been removed from Abbey Park Boating Pool in Leicester.  Pictures below indicate two sample fish.  It is hoped that the three swims on the Stock Pond will be finished during the Spring working parties to develop this pool into a pleasure fishery.  This will complete the stocking for this water which is now up to maximum carrying capacity.


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2004 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the fourth Bainton Fisheries Newsletter, which is designed to keep you informed about the Fishery, in terms of news during the last season and some up and coming events and issues.

Membership 2003 – 2004 Membership has remained static at 170 members, with a split between 90 night permits and 80 day permits. There is still significant latent demand for permits on the complex, no new angling permits have been issued since the beginning of the 2003 season. Again an operating profit for the year came to just over £4000 for the year. Most of which was spent on stock, swim building materials and admin costs (e.g. Stamps/Printing etc)

Stockings News

In 2003-2004 two stockings were managed. If members know of lake owners who would be interested in selling fish to Bainton Fisheries then please pass their details to me. As agreed at the 2003 members meeting supplies of Bream or Tench were to be sought for stocking for pleasure anglers. To summarise the 2003 – 2004 additions:- · In September 2003, 39 Bream averaging 7lb each (5-9lb range) were purchased and stocked into the Bailey Bridge Pit. These fish were uncaught fish having been removed from a water supply reservoir in the Trent Valley. · In December 2003, 60 Bream in the 7-10 bracket were stocked in the Bailey Bridge Pit. This now brings the stock up to 99 bream in this lake. They were from the A1 pits in Newark, which were being drained to thin out the bream in one of their carp lakes.

Total expenditure on stock and nettings for 2003-4 came to just under £3000

Fishery Maintenance and Development

Two working parties were held in 2003 and about a dozen people out of 170 members attended. The first was held on the Bailey bridge pit to create swims along the carp lake wall using plastic pilings and the second was meant to be a general tidy up session. But so few turned up we could only work on one swim on the L shape. This level of attendance was disappointing.

Hot-housing the Orchid.

This is worth a mention again. Just to recap. The idea two years ago was to artificially fertilise the Orchid pit with phosphate to attempt to create a pea green algal bloom in late spring. It was hoped this would trigger a bloom in small water creatures such as Daphnia hopefully leading to a bumper crop of food for rudd and tench fry to feed on in the early summer. Actually it lead to a bumper crop of pea snails and weed. However the rudd seem to be doing very well in terms of quantity and size and there has been a very good tench spawning two years running with large amounts of fingerling tench surviving. I think the weed is actually having an affect on Cormorant Predation

Working party dates

This year there will be working parties as follows:-

Sunday 18th April from 9am – Orchid and L Shape.

Sunday 2nd May from 9am – Big Pit, Stock Pond and Match Lake.

Sunday 16th May from 9am – National Grid Pit

In terms of arranging a plan of action for the working party days I would be grateful if members could either e-mail or ring me before hand to say they are coming. This will enable me to plan the tasks ahead for the day. Items that are particularly valued for working parties are chest waders, bow saws, loppers, wheelbarrows, petrol chainsaws or strimmers, spades, pickaxes and if people have access to 4x4s, trailers or even a JCB it can make light work for all. There may be opportunities for netting parties during 2004 to transfer fish into Bainton. These are usually within an hour’s driving radius of Bainton and are extremely hard work, but rewarding nether the less. Chest waders and a strong back are essential. No dates as yet have been set but if you would like to register for a netting party then please let me know.

Feedback from Members Meeting

·The stocking level of small carp in the carp lake was the biggest concern, it was resolved to try and increase predator loading in this lake. · The Stock Pond will also need additional fish, pleasure fishing species will be sought · It was announced that subject to contract that the National Grid pit had been acquired for sole use by members of Bainton. However this water would need significant work to develop during the working party. · The lease for the complex had been extended by 5 years, however the price would increase by 17.5% and be pegged to 5% per annum increase. · It was agreed by vote than rather than increase membership numbers permits would increase in cost to cover the lease and the cost of the additional water. Dawn to Dusk at £45.00 per annum and 24 Hour at £90.00 per annum. · It was agreed that all renewals must be in by mid May, (this means to return to the renewal address to arrive no late than first post on the 18th May), after this date, membership will have lapsed. · An upper limit on anglers for the complex stayed at 170, of which no more than 90 would be allowed to have a 24-hour ticket. · After May 18th anglers who applied to join would be given a ticket for Bainton Fisheries in time for June 16th. · It was noted that an annual redressing of the road would be pursued with LeFage. · The was a plea for building materials for swims, telegraph poles were suggested as an alternative to railway sleepers, and old scaffold poles are also sought. · It was agreed that the car sticker would have the reference to a fishery removed, but members were reminded that they should display it at all times and remember to change the sticker when they changed car.

The following rules were changed.

· Rule 1 – to specify that no fish over 5lb should be held in a keepnet. · Rule 12 – The add to the rule that Bait boats are permitted but they must also not place a bait in such a position to lose fish or tackle · Rule 23 To ban the use of fishing rods or poles over 13 feet long with 30 metres of Electricity Cables. · New Rule – Rule 28, a maximum speed limit of 10 miles an hour to be observed on the site.

· Litter again was discussed, it was confirmed that no litter was to be tolerated and that anyone found littering would be banned for life from Bainton Fisheries.

Charity Pike Fish-in Just a quick note to say that 110 pounds was raised for Second Chance Children’s Charity by members of Bainton Fisheries at the annual Pike Fish In. So a big Thank you to all those who took part.

And Finally

Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task. Please think as it as much as yours as mine. Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop. Things can only get better but there is still a long way to go.


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November 2003 Pike In

On November 16th 2003 14 Anglers took part in the Annual Pike Match to raise money for Second Chance Children’s Angling Charity.  All in all 32 Pike were caught on the day and for the time of year quite sunny and warm (eventually).  Top rod for the day was Harold Taverner catching 8 pike but the biggest fish for the day fell to Gareth Lewis with an 18lber from the Orchid Pit on a brand new lure.  So well done to you both and Gareth took the whip prize on the day for biggest fish.  A donation of £110 will be made to the Charity after prize money being deducted.

Here are a few of the happy bunch.

Well done to those that took part and hopefully we will get a few more next year.


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September 2003 Bream Stocking

Following agreement at the April 2003 Members meeting it was agreed that stocks of Bream and/or tench would be obtained to develop the pleasure angling side of the Fishery.  In September 2003, 39 Bream averaging 7lb each (5-9lb range) were purchased and stocked into the Bailey Bridge Pit.  These fish were uncaught fish having been removed from a water supply reservoir in the Trent Valley.  Pictures below indicate two sample fish and the stocking.  These fish were stored in a cage for a few days prior to shipping so their fins got a bit damaged, but within a few weeks they should heal up.


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2003 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the third Bainton Fisheries Newsletter, which is designed to keep you informed about the Fishery, in terms of news during the last season and some up and coming events and issues.

Membership 2002 – 2003

Membership has grown very well from the 2001-2002 figure of 103 fishing members. There are now 170 fishing members and I am pleased to announce that an operating profit of some £4000 has been achieved. It was decided at the last members meeting to limit fishing membership to 125 anglers on the complex. This figure was reached before the 16th June 2002 however late renewals pushed this figure back up to 150 anglers. As no adverse pressure was observed on the complex I decided not no decline any permit renewals. There is also significant latent demand for permits on the complex, no permits have been issued since August 2002 but demand is expected to be high for 2003/4 tickets.

Stockings News

In 2002-2003 two stockings were managed. The momentum of last years 6 stockings has not been maintained due to the lack of suitable fish at the right price. If members know of lake owners who would be interested in selling fish to Bainton Fisheries then please pass their details to me. To summarise the 2002 – 2003 additions:- · September 2002 8 double figure carp and a 30.2lbs were stocked into the big pit. These were obtained after a days enduro-netting at Summerleys Nature Reserve in Northants. This latest addition of fish increases the viability of the bit pit as a low density/big fish water. · As agreed at the April 2002 Members meeting a supply of Crucian Carp for the Bailey bridge pit was finally secured (third time lucky!). 290 4-6 inch fish and 235 6-8 inch were stocked on 16th December. So please make sure they stay put and no using for livebaits as they cost too much. It will be interesting to see how well they do and how catchable they are in the spring, as Crucian Carp are notoriously tricky to catch.

Other fish movements during 2002-3 were two nettings on site where contractors were hired to move. Both episodes were disappointing in terms of the outcome. · An attempt to remove carp and predators from the Bailey Bridge Pit only managed to catch jack pike, and some small chub even after 4 attempts. None of the larger carp or chub were connected with. This was prior to the Crucian Carp being stocked. · In March 2003, 16 members turned out to assist in netting the Carp Lake with a view to moving the small carp. This lake is incredibly difficult to net and only resulted to two single figure common carp, which were moved to the big pit.

Total expenditure on stock and nettings for 2002-3 came to just over £2000.

Fishery Maintenance and Development

Three working parties were held in 2002 and I believe that about 40 people managed to attend at least one. Work concentrated on the match pit, Orchid Pit and L Shape.

On the match pit three platforms were created, on the Orchid swims were cleared along the Maxey cut bank and on the L Shape general gardening took place along with putting some steps into the far western bank. Water lilies were also planted in the new pit and carp lake.

Hot-housing the Orchid.

What can I say about this? The idea last spring was to artificially fertilise the Orchid pit with phosphate to attempt to create a pea green algal bloom in late spring. It was hoped this would trigger a bloom in small water creatures such as Daphnia hopefully leading to a bumper crop of food for rudd and tench fry to feed on in the early summer. The spring was very cold and wet, this lead to the weed growing in the lake before the algae could get going. The growth in weed has restricted fishing on the lakes but has lead to a bumper crop of pea snails. I think the net effect will be good weights for snail eating fish rather than encouraging fry. In theory the fertiliser should last for two years, so maybe a mild spring will cause a different effect.

Working party dates

This year there will be working parties as follows:-

Sunday 11th May from 9am – Bailey Bridge Pit, Carp Lake,

Sunday 25th May from 9am – L Shape/Orchid Pits, In terms of arranging a plan of action for the working party days I would be grateful if members could either e-mail or ring me before hand to say they are coming. This will enable me to plan the tasks ahead for the day. Items that are particularly valued for working parties are chest waders, bow saws, loppers, spades, pickaxes and if people have access to 4x4s, trailers or even a JCB it can make light work for all. I am also sure that there will be opportunities for netting parties during 2003 to transfer fish into Bainton. These are usually within an hour’s driving radius of Bainton and are extremely hard work, but rewarding nether the less. Chest waders and a strong back are essential. No dates as yet have been set but if you would like to register for a netting party then please let me know.

Feedback from Members Meeting

On Friday 4th April the 3rd Members meeting was held, this time at Ye Olde White Hart in Ufford. A lot of decisions were made at this meeting, which will influence the running of the fishery for the coming season. In Summary:-

· It was felt that stocking should concentrate on developing the pleasure angling side of the fishery this year combined with increasing the predator balance in the Carp Lake. Species that will be actively searched for will include Bream, Tench, Pike and Perch. · The Stock Pond will be opened up for fishing before the new season and stocking will probably concentrate on the Bailey Bridge Pit, Stock Pond and Match Pit for non-predator species to avoid cormorant attention. · It was agreed by vote that the carp syndicate would be disbanded and that the carp lake would be open to all members to fish. · It was agreed by vote that only two fishing permits would exist, Dawn to Dusk at £37.50 per annum and 24 Hour at £75.00 per annum. · It was agreed by vote that all renewals must be in by mid May, (this means to return to the renewal address to arrive no late than first post on the 22nd May), after this date, membership will have lapsed. · It was agreed by vote not to change the padlock on the gate and reissue new keys, as it was felt that non-renewal rates would be very low. · An upper limit on anglers for the complex was set at 170, of which no more than 90 would be allowed to have a 24-hour ticket. · After May 22nd anglers on a waiting list would be invited to join Bainton Fisheries in time for June 16th.

The following rules were changed.

· Rule 5 – to specify that non lure fishing wire traces must be at least 18 inches long. · Rules 21 and 22 scrapped (relate to Carp syndicate). · Rule 23 (now 21) Swims may not be occupied for more than 7 days by the same angler, a break of 2 days must then follow. · New Rule 22 An angler may leave the complex for up to 6 hours and not forfeit their swim as long as they accept the risk of leaving some of their tackle behind to mark their occupancy and a note stating time left. (e.g. Leave Bivvy up but take rods).

· Dogs were discussed as usual, it was agreed that I would meet with LeFage to discuss the matter to minimise gate hoppers, rights of way signage and fouling of the site.

· It was confirmed that there are no ticketing arrangements for Junior, Senior or Disabled anglers. This is to reduce the administrative burden of proof and not to marginalise these anglers. Junior anglers are welcome to join their parent(s) fishing free of charge as long as they are kept under control and do not occupy an additional swim. Nor in total do not breach a 4-rod limit with their parent. Any junior anglers fishing in their own right would be liable for a permit charge. Under 16s are not permitted on site un-accompanied by an adult due to safety issues and the risk of annoying other anglers.

· Litter was also discussed, it was confirmed that no litter was to be tolerated and that anyone found littering would be banned from Bainton Fisheries. Litter is not a problem but one or two bits of rubbish have been noticed of late and we suspect we have a litterlout in our midst.

· Potholes were also discussed the action is for me to meet with LeFage Aggregates to remedy.

· Cormorants were discussed and the process for culling them. The effort involved in this operation for a non-commercial fishery without permanent bailiffing makes any solution very difficult to achieve. DEFRA have not been as helpful as they could have been.

Charity Pike Fish-in Just a quick note to say that 230 pounds was raised for Second Chance Children’s Charity by members of Bainton Fisheries at the annual Pike Fish In. So a big Thank you to all those who took part.

And Finally

Without all your support and effort running this fishery would be an impossible task. Please think as it as much as yours as mine. Hopefully you get out more from it than just a days fishing, I hope you feel included and consulted and feel that you are making a contribution into shaping the ways things develop. Things can only get better but there is still a long way to go.


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December 2002 Crucian Carp Stocking

As agreed at the April 2002 Members meeting a supply of Crucian Carp for the Bailey Bridge pit has finally been secured (third time lucky!).

290 4-6 inch fish and 235 6-8 inch fish costing a total of £1071 were stocked on 16th December.  So please make sure they stay put and no using for livebaits as they cost too much.  It will be interesting to see how well they do and how catchable they are in the spring, as Crucian Carp are notoriously tricky to catch.

Pictures below show the stocking.

Typical size – around 3-4oz

One of several bucket fulls into the bailey bridge pit.  This is where all the permit money goes!!


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September 2002 Carp Stocking

Permission was obtained to net the big lake at Summer Leys Nature Reserve on the above date.  5 members gave up their time, coupled with myself and two contractors a team of eight had to pull a 200 metre Seine Net across the enormous gravel pit.  The work was extremely hard and I am extremely grateful for the full day of effort that everyone contributed.  Perhaps the next netting some carp anglers could try and make an effort to help as it was their benefit that the big pit is being developed into a carp fishery.

The two contractors float the net off across the lake on a punt to reach the other side.

Derek, Kevin, Harold, Alan and Dominic the contractor pull one side on the 200 metre net.

Here are the biggest fish.  198lb of Carp all in all.

10.12 Mirror Both Sides

12.12 Common

13.8 Mirror Both Sides

14.0 Common with dodgy top lip

15.12 mirror both sides

16.8 Common- or is it a fully scaled?

Another 16.8 Common – same scale pattern, peas in a pod, different fish honest.

18.14 Mirror both sides

30.02 Both Sides


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2002 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the second Bainton Fisheries Newsletter, which is designed to keep you informed about the Fishery, in terms of news during the last season and some up and coming events and issues.

Membership 2001 – 2002 

Membership has grown very well from the 2000-2001 figure of 60 fishing members. There are now 103 fishing members and I am pleased to announce that an operating profit of some £2500 has been achieved. Whether this level of membership can be sustained or demand will further increase in 2002-2003 is really an unknown quantity. I suspect Baston Fen being closed locally may have been an influencing factor combined with good things spreading along the angling grapevine about Bainton. In last years newsletter I expressed a view that 100 members would be an ideal limit to assess whether to cap future membership. Although I get no great sense that the fishery is pressurised I was keen to explore the possibility on setting an upper limit for the 2002-2003 season during the April 2002 members meeting (see later). 

Stockings News 

In 2000-2001 two stockings were managed. This season due to greater affluence in club funds we managed a total of 6 stockings. This upward trend is something I am keen to maintain, the problem is finding suitable sources of fish at a reasonable price. The approach I prefer is to borrow netting equipment from the Environment Agency and net fish for ourselves paying the owner for the fish direct, rather than pay expensive commercial rates from fish dealers where the source of the fish is often unknown and their disease and stress status can be questionable. If members know of lake owners who would be interested in selling fish to Bainton Fisheries then please pass their details to me. 

To summarise the 2001 – 2002 additions:- · 

July 2001 – 38 carp of up to 24lbs stocked. Most in the new pit but bigger fish in the big pit. · 

August 2001 – 8 bream between 6-8lb in the new pit. · 

October 2001 – over 300 rudd, orfe, carp and brown goldfish with lovely fantails stocked into the new pit in the 2-8oz category. · 

October 2001 – more catfish stocked in the 4 – 5 ½ lb category bringing total numbers in the match pit to 20. · 

October 2001 – 18 carp to 13lbs stocked in the new pit. · 

April 2002 – 6 carp to 13½ lbs split between the big and new pit.

Total expenditure on stock for 2001-2 came to just over £2000. 

Fishery Maintenance and Development 

Three working parties were held in 2001 and I believe that about 30 people from a total membership of 60 managed to attend at least one. Work concentrated on creating more swims on the carp lake, L shape and a general tidying up session on the Orchid and Match Lake. The developments that I am keen to pursue in the coming year include more swims on the Orchid and Match pit. Creating platforms could do this. The downside to this is that the materials are quite expensive, working out at approximately £130 for scaffolding and timber per platform. The advantages are that a platform can be erected in a few hours and using quality materials will last for many years. Of course they are not to everybody’s taste but can provide a fishing spot where no other option will allow access to the water safely. Other developments that I have initiated this year is to introduce 50 native water lilies into the new pit and carp pit to provide cover for fish and to add to the aesthetic attraction of the lakes. This is very much an experiment and if successful I may be tempted to do the same in the shallow parts of other lakes.

Hot-housing the Orchid. 

I am getting a little concerned about the pike weights and the direct relationship with the reduced abundance of rudd in the L shape and Orchid pits. Having consulted widely I have come to the conclusion that I need to create more fertile conditions for smaller fish species and have decided to take a leaf from fish breeders books who “hot-house” stew ponds to create massive fry hatches. This spring I will artificially fertilise the Orchid pit with phosphate to attempt to create a pea green algal bloom in late spring. This will in turn trigger a bloom in small water creatures such as Daphnia. These blooms will hopefully create a bumper crop of food for rudd and tench fry to feed on in the early summer. Hopefully fry survival will be high supplying more fish for anglers and predators alike to catch in future years. I would be keen to hear member’s observations about this experiment during this year so that I can form a view as to whether to repeat this on other lakes. It is believed that a treatment will last two years without need for a repeat. “Hot-housing” a lake could be a cheaper alternative to repeated stocking, it will reduce light which will slow weed growth and may restrict the hunting by cormorants.

Working party dates

This year there will be working parties as follows:-

Sunday 28th April from 9am – Match Pit, chest waders, cordless drills with screwdriver attachments and plug socket spanners especially needed to erect platforms. Also wheelbarrows and spades would be useful. 

Sunday 12th May from 9am – Orchid Pit, general swim creation and gardening to encourage anglers to fish the Maxey Cut bank, improve vehicle access. Big Pit – Two new swims and general gardening, Removal of stile. – New Pit – removal of stile and various unsightly structures.

Sunday 26th May from 9am – L Shape – Improving two swims with steps and gardening. – Carp Pit – Minor gardening and road maintenance.

It is a condition of membership that everyone attends one working party. Clearly I do not expect disabled or elderly members to attend and some people have to work at weekends also. But every able bodied member can help out in some way even outside of an organised working party. In terms of arranging a plan of action for the working party days I would be grateful if members could either e-mail or ring me before hand to say they are coming. This will enable me to plan the tasks ahead for the day. Items that are particularly valued for working parties are chest waders, bow saws, loppers, spades, pickaxes and if people have access to 4x4s, trailers or even a JCB it can make light work for all. A huge sense of humour is also mandatory. I am also sure that there will be opportunities for netting parties during 2002 to transfer fish into Bainton. These are usually within an hour’s driving radius of Bainton and are extremely hard work, but rewarding nether the less. Chest waders and a strong back are essential, also cars with tow bars or trailers are very helpful. No dates as yet have been set but if you would like to register for a netting party then please let me know. 

Feedback from Members Meeting 

On 12th April about 40 members attended the annual meeting where I had an opportunity to update members on news, discuss issues that require action and collectively make some decisions about changes in the fishery operation. A summary of the meeting outcomes is as follows:-

Rule amendments Rule 2, “An unhooking mat is mandatory on site to protect larger fish from injury” Rule 5, “All pike anglers must be in possession of two pairs of forceps or equivalent one of which must be 10″ in length. Pike hooks must be semi-barbless and wire traces must be used at all times.” 

Rule 16, “All members are automatically bailiffs and should ensure that all other anglers abide by these rules and challenge persons who are unknown to them, checking their membership.” 

Rule 21, “Only carp syndicate members may fish the Carp syndicate lake to the North of Maxey Cut.” 

Permit Costs for 2002-3 season, the outgoings for the fishery will increase by 5% in the coming season. Members agreed to a 5% increase in permit cost across the board to offset this. The cost for the 2002 – 3 season will be as follows:- 

Carp Syndicate and all other lakes; 24-hour permit, limited to 25 anglers. £105 

24 Hour Permit on all lakes except Carp Syndicate. £53 

Dawn to Dusk permit on all lakes except Carp Syndicate £37 

Non fishing permit where vehicle access is required £11

It was agreed to withdraw the pike fishing permit on the Carp syndicate pit, as it had not proved to be successful. 

Carp Syndicate Lake 

There is a waiting list of 20 anglers to join this lake and there are currently 20 members. Members agreed to increase the membership to 25 from June 16th 2002 as fishing pressure is still relatively light and increased angling pressure and bait had been shown to get the carp responding all year to angler’s bait. The waiting list was also discussed as some members felt that paid up anglers playing an active role in supporting the fishery that were on the syndicate waiting list should take precedence over those who were not members. After a lot of debate a vote was taken and by a significant majority it was agreed to support this proposal from the floor. Members were reminded to stick to the track around the lake so as not to antagonise the local farmer.

Site Access. Site security was discussed and members were reminded of their obligations to ensure that unwanted elements were ejected from the site. It was agreed that LeFage’s site manager’s tel no would also be published in the Permit. Some gaps in the barbed wire fence along the West Deeping Road were also offered to be fixed.

A discussion was held on what Bainton Fisheries exact rights were to deter non-members from accessing the site and the correct route for the Public Footpath across the site. Further work is needed to investigate this and a few members and myself took several actions away.

Dog walkers specifically were discussed. It was accepted that the vast majority were responsible and their dogs kept under control and well behaved. However some were irresponsible and showed no respect for anglers or wildlife. Incidents and confrontations had occurred with owners and dogs threatening members. It was pointed out that serious matters such as these should probably be reported to the police.

Dogs fouling the site was also discussed as some owners are not making any effort to avoid anglers swims and either take their dog’s waste home with them or move it into the undergrowth (unbagged). I am sure that Bainton members that are dog walkers understand that they have a responsibility to anglers. What I need to ensure is that non members who access the site understand that there are certain rules and courtesies that need to be observed. Some new signage will therefore go up.

Despite the NO PARKING signs outside the main gate, people are still blocking the gate. A meeting with LeFarge will seek to identify if more restrictive measures can be introduced. LeFarge will also be encouraged to repair the potholes in the main road through the site.

Swim Building. 

It was agreed that a system of planning permission would be introduced for creating swims and that any future creations would have to seek approval from myself first.

Stocking Policy. 

The following was agreed to be this years stocking policy: – To develop a 3rd Carp lake within the complex, this will involve moving carp between 3lb and 10lb from the Carp lake to the Big Pit. Syndicate members are asked to play an active part in this and ensure that they have carp sacks and heavy plastic bags to facilitate the movement of fish. EA approval will be sought to block move 100 carp over the summer and anglers are asked to record and report movements to myself. Future netting will also be targeted at obtaining carp for the big pit. Contrary to last years meeting, it was decided to leave the carp in the new pit. Other species that I will also try to obtain this year will be some more bream and crucian carp. There is also a possibility of some grass carp to be stocked into the Orchid Pit. 

Charity Pike Fish-in

On the 18th November, 23 Pike anglers took part in a charity event at Bainton fisheries to raise money for the 2nd Chance Children’s Angling Charity. The weather in the week prior had been rather cool and the water temperature was low. On the day the air temperature had raised to about 10 degrees C but the water was still cool. Top weight for the day’s event was 12lb 6oz to Alan Smith, closely followed by fish of 12lb to Chris Bishop (runner up again). The good news was that £240 pounds was raised for charity and that a good social day out was had by all. About a dozen pike were caught during the day. 

And Finally 

A big thank-you for all your support in my second year. We are a few steps further on a long journey and already I hope you are seeing some improvements.

Is this the catch of the year?

20lb 6oz to one of our youngest members from a pit with more acres than carp?


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April 2002 Stocking

OK, it was only six fish but they were left over from a previous netting.  Fish ranged down from 13 1/2 lbs.  The best fish was a fully scaled mirror of about 8lb. 

The biggest was a plump Leather, both of which went into the big pit.


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18th 2001 November Charity Pike In

On the 18th November 23 Pike anglers took part in a charity event at Bainton fisheries to raise money for the 2nd Chance Children’s Angling Charity.  The weather in the week prior had been rather cool and the water temperature was low.  On the day the air temperature had raised to about 10 degrees C but the water was still cool.  Top weight for the day’s event was 12lb 6oz to Alan Smith, closely followed by fish of 12lb to Chris Bishop (runner up again).  The good new was that 240 pounds was raised for charity and that a good social day out was had by all.  About a dozen pike were caught during the day.  A big thank you to all that took part and there is a plan to have an April event in 2002.  And now a few snaps….

Ian contemplating a move – still he blanked!

Phil with a 10 pounder – part of top bag weight of 33lb for the day.

Alan Smith with top weight of 12.6, worth 50 quid as well in the pool.

Jon and Chris after a hard days gossiping and putting the world (and lure anglers) to rights.

And finally the dregs that stood around for the final photo, Alan also won a Pike print donated by the lads from Improve your Course Fishing. Does Sid the dog get in all the snaps?


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October 13th 2001 Carp and Orfe Stocking

We were invited to net a large garden pond by the Environment Agency, the owners were concerned that the water was clouded and they wanted to have clear water.  It was believed that large amounts of small carp, orfe, rudd and roach were churning up the water.  These fish were free and all we had to do was borrow some nets and go and get them.  The pond was in Badby, near Daventry.  It was about 30 metres long and about 10 metres wide and no one really knew what it turn up.

The Badby Pond, would it turn up any golden nuggets?

Well we did catch about 300 fish but most of them were two inches long, either being carp (both mirrors and commons) or some kind of orfe thing that may have been an immature rudd hybrid.  It was all a bit hard to tell to be honest!

Anyway we thanked the owners and drove back to Bainton with two tanks of fish with the Oxygen bubbling away.  There was however about 20 fish that looked at first like crucian carp of about 6oz.  But some of them had big fan tails, these were brown goldfish or again some king of weird hybrid.  Stunningly attractive fish and very tame.  Just have a look at the gallery below.  All the fish were stocked into the New pit.  I would estimate the stocking as follows:-

200 Carp of about 2 inches.

100 Orfe type things of about 2 inches.  The jury is still out on them.

20 Rudd of about 6oz

20 Fantail Crucians (goldfish to you and me)

All the fish are very tame and respond well to slices of bread on the surface, they also follow you around the lake hoping you will feed them.

And my personal favorite……………..

So we went in search of Golden Nuggets, and came home with Goldfish


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6th October 2001 Catfish Stocking

As some of you will know the Match pit is licensed to hold 20 catfish until the MAFF ILFA scheme.  Last year 7 were stocked at about 3lb and now an additional 13 licensed fish have been introduced.  These fish are between 4 and 5 1/2 pounds.

After spending 4 hours netting a lake the cats are driven to the weigh station by a snowmobile.  Never seen one up close before, only has a 1500 cc engine.

Bags of Cats waiting to be stocked on the Match Pit.  Just like buying goldfish really.  If you put them in a tank all together they chew each others whiskers off!

One of the new recruits.    5lb 4oz. Should make 10lb in two years.  Two more stocking due in October.


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Summerleys Netting July 2001

Summerleys Netting July 2001

In Mid July Carp were netted from Summerleys nature reserve and stocked into the New Pit and Big Pit.  The plan was to remove as many double figure and 20lb carp as possible to stock into the Big Pit.

6 members of Bainton Fisheries offered their time and put a huge effort into pulling 50 metre Seine nets across the bird reserve pit.

A big thanks to the Environment Agency for lending Bainton the equipment and supervising the netting.  Proceeds from the sale of the carp will go towards the local wildlife trust.

The tally of carp is as follows:

Weight Band Quantity
< 8 lb not weighed 20 (not wanted but stocked)
8lbs 7
9lbs 1
10lbs 1
11lbs 1
12lbs 2
12 3
13 2
14 1
18 1
24 1
Total 38

All double figure fish were stocked into the Big Pit and two very nice 8lb fish were also put in, a leather and a beautiful mirror.  The remaining 28 fish were all stocked into the new pit.  The idea that they will grow on and when they get to mid doubles will be moved into the Big Pit.

A few sample fish can be seen below.

24lb Mirror

18lb Mirror.

We hope to return next year for another cropping of carp.  All in all and hard days work but very satisfying nevertheless.


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2001 Members Newsletter

Welcome to the first Bainton Fisheries Newsletter, which is designed to keep you informed about the Fishery, in terms of news during the last season and some up and coming events and issues.

Membership 2000 – 2001

Membership was a bit slow to start but as word of mouth spread during the summer I am pleased to say that Bainton Fisheries made a modest operating profit of some £800. In all there are 60 members currently holding fishing tickets and I have had a lot of enquiries for the coming season. This level of membership would appear to have very little impact upon the fishery as at most there are rarely more than a couple of anglers on site. In the interest of keeping the angling pressure light and maintaining an element of exclusivity I think that an upper limit of 100 members should be maintained.

Spread of members

One of the interesting factors about the membership of Bainton is that well over half of the membership is recruited via the Internet. These members are not immediately local and often travel well over 100 miles to fish. These anglers use Bainton as a “weekend away” fishery. In comparison to their local waters Bainton prices are cheap, the angling pressure light and the bank side camaraderie of the highest order.

For those of you recently on the Internet either at work or at home, there is an e-mail discussion list that all members can be subscribed to. It is a useful forum for catching up on what has been caught and arranging meets. If you want to be subscribed then please contact me.

Stockings News

In the autumn of 2000 there were two commercial stockings. Nearly all of the operating profit of the fishery was spent on this. The first was 7 carp between 15lb and 20lb, which went into the New Pit, these were obtained from Northants County Council on a routine netting done by the Environment Agency. The Council crop the carp each year to sell, in order to pay for winter food for the wild foul. The fish were of excellent quality and a real bargain at only £300. I am pleased that the Environment Agency have confirmed that they plan a similar netting this season and given the chance I will get some more.

7 small catfish of about 3lbs each were stocked into the Match Pit also during the autumn. Although a modest start they will grow on a diet of small fish. I have also had some other offers of fish which I am keen to pursue during the summer and autumn.

Home for Stray Cats

Bainton Fisheries has recently been granted a full license to keep catfish under the Import of Live Fish Act (ILFA) under the understanding that the fishery is to make itself available to help non licensed fisheries dispose of their catfish.

There has been a lot of controversy lately that Catfish from non-licensed sites would have to be killed. This is something that many fishery owners would not adhere to. But in correspondence with the Catfish Conservation Group (CCG) MAFF have stated that fishery owners who have been turned down to keep catfish “might believe a ban on returning the fish amounts to a requirement to kill any fish caught. In fact the fish may be transferred to other licensed sites”. The MAFF official further suggests that the Environment Agency (EA) is actively involved so that the disposal of fish can be discussed, either as or when caught or all at one time.

“The EA is considering making arrangements for a number of secure sites to become receiving sites for fish” MAFF further stated.

I am pleased to say that Bainton Fisheries have agreed with the local EA office that in the Nene, Welland & Trent area the fishery will be the preferred stocking site. From my point of view this is very good news as Catfish are very expensive to buy.

Fishery Maintenance

Working parties this year have not been very well organised, this is mainly my fault. But also the best time to do some maintenance work is during the traditional close season. This was a period of time that I did not have a lease on the site and by the time I was in control of the site, it was June the 16th and we all wanted to go fishing. Me included. I have bought a petrol brushcutter and chainsaw this year that has helped keep the vegetation down enormously and constant attention is required to battle the brambles and hawthorn on site.

This year there will be three working parties as follows:-

Sunday 20th May from 9am.

Sunday 26th May from 9am.

Sunday 10th June from 9am.

It is a condition of membership that everyone attends one working party. Clearly I do not expect disabled or elderly members to attend and some people have to work at weekends also. But every able bodied member can help out in some way even outside of an organised working party.

In terms of arranging a plan of action for the working party days I would be grateful if members could either e-mail or ring me before hand to say they are coming. This will enable me to plan the tasks ahead for the day. Items that are particularly valued for working parties are bow saws, loppers, spades, pickaxes, 4×4 vehicles with trailers, chainsaws, hardcore, timber and a huge sense of humour.

Permit Costs for 2001 – 2002 season

I am pleased to announce that most of the permit costs are the same for the new season. There has been a 7% rise in the running costs of the fishery mainly due to a rent increase. I believe another approach is more appropriate than an automatic permit rise on all tickets. The other price adjustment is that keys for new members will now cost £6, as the cost has increased to get them cut from the previous year.

Carp Syndicate and all other lakes; 24-hour permit, limited to 20 anglers.

£100

24 Hour Permit on all lakes except Carp Syndicate.

£50

Dawn to Dusk permit on all lakes except Carp Syndicate

£35

Additional Pike Fishing 1st November 2001 until 31st March 2002 on Carp Syndicate lake dawn to dusk only (optional extra for £50 & £35 permit)

£10

Non fishing permit where vehicle access is required

£10

Carp Syndicate Lake

I believe that I need to review the membership on this lake, for a variety of reasons. The angling pressure on this lake has been very light. Originally I set the membership to 15 anglers on the assumption that at least half of them would be fishing most weekends. The reality is that the most I have seen fish at once is 4 people and very few sessions have been had over the winter. I feel that more angling pressure will create regular feeding spots in the lake for the carp (and ducks) which will help to keep the weed clear for bait presentation.

With the increase in the running costs of the fishery and a waiting list of 15 anglers I want to increase the syndicate size anglers for 2001 – 2002. It was agreed at the members meeting that this would be increased to 20.

The lease agreement for the 2001 – 2002 season will allow the provision of an inclusive perimeter of land all around the lake. This means that complete vehicle access has been agreed all around the lake, subject to weather conditions.

The perimeter belonging to Bainton Fisheries will be between 10 and 5 metres from the top of the bank, outside of this limit the local farmer will maintain the land. Do not drive outside of this perimeter. The diagram on this page should make things clearer. Increasing the membership will also mean that at least one of the working parties will have to be dedicated to creating or enhancing swims so that at least 15 swims are fishable for a long session with a bivvy.

Feedback from Members Meeting

On 27th April, 22 members attended the Bainton Fisheries members meeting at the Millstone pub in Barnack. Apart from a news update several issues were discussed at length and some important decisions taken about the future running of the fishery.

Members agreed that a modest increase in membership of the carp syndicate to 20 but felt that 25 would be too many.

Stocking for the future year would be geared towards pleasure angling, trying to obtain more tench and bream particularly.

To continue to develop the new pit but also use it as a nursery fishery, whereby fish can be moved into the big pit when they become pike resistant.

The big pit would receive a stocking of carp hopefully from Northants County Council again.

The EA have also agreed to provide transport and netting to receive some unwanted rudd from another fishery.

As for working parties:-The Match pit will receive some attention to increase the number of swims that are fishable with higher water levels.

The Orchid lake will have some swim clearance along the Maxey cut bank to establish more swims.

The L shape will have swims along the South and West end built up so they are less muddy and dangerous and to provide room for cars to park without blocking the road.

The Carp lake will need some swims developing so that it’s carrying capacity for parked cars and bivvies is increased to pick up the increased membership.

It was agreed that I would survey the lakes and draw up a plan of action for each of the days. In conclusion I would like to use Sunday 20th May for a Cap lake dedicated working party. Sunday 26th May for the Match pit and Orchid lake. Sunday 10th June for the L Shape. It was felt that the New pit and Big pit needed no attention.

The ability to extend pike fishing to the Carp lake during the winter season was agreed. This however is on the agreement that no fish are removed from any of the other lakes to be used as bait in the Carp lake. Therefore artifials, sea baits, trout or baits caught from the carp lake can only be used. This is to protect this valuable stock from potential carp disease that stockings elsewhere on the complex could potentially introduce.

There was concern expressed that LeFage may be planning to start gravel extraction to the north of the site in the short term. No detailed information on this is known but I have agreed to find out if there is any likely impact on the fishery if this does take place.

My current understanding is that LeFage will make all efforts to protect the Natural life of the site and would prefer to use alternative routes to extract any gravel than have lorries on the site. I also believe that other sites locally will be worked out first before LeFages attention switches to extracting gravel to the north of the east coast railway line, north of the carp lake. The long term view is that we ultimately may have another 100 acres of lakes to fish!

There was concern that a chicken waste disposal site might contaminate the groundwater, Nigel Hewlett of the EA has agreed to progress this as a matter of urgency.

Finally, dog-walkers. I have agreed to construct a sterner notice to remind dog-walkers that they should respect angling

It was felt that the meeting was useful and that they should continue in future years.

Charity Pike Fish-in

Following the success of last years fish-in where £315 pounds was raised for Second Chance Fishing children’s charity, I thought it would be a good idea to hold another event. This will be for one day only this time on Sunday the 18th November 2001, from 7am to 4pm. Non Bainton members can fish for a fiver day ticket. Every angler must donate 5 pounds to charity and there will be a 5 pounds to enter pool, half the proceeds to the angler catching the biggest pike on the day, and half to charity.

Last year, two twenty pound fish were caught along with about 17 other smaller pike, 27 anglers attended. The event will be limited to 35 anglers on the day.

And Finally

A big thank-you for all your support in my first year. We are on the beginning of a long journey but it will be worth it.


Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints, kill nothing but time