Angry fisherman to defy controversial ban at Greenfield Valley Heritage Park by casting off this weekend

Reporter:

David Humphreys

ANGRY fishermen intend to cast off at a pool this weekend where angling has controversially been banned.

Dozens of anglers are expected to turn out to fish at the Flour Mill pool at Greenfield Valley Heritage Park tomorrow in response to a ban imposed last month.

In a 700-word statement issued to the Leader, trustees at the park said banning fishing was a “carefully considered response to a potentially life-threatening situation”.

The statement said a threat from lead weights was behind the ban on fishing at the Flour Mill pool.

While it was “regrettable”, the decision had to be taken as the board had a duty to ensure the valley is safe for use by all members of the public.

That decision has not been well received by some members of the angling community, with one fisherman claiming that ripping out fishing pegs had made health and safety “twice as bad”.

Robbie Lloyd, 61, has been fishing at the Flour Mill for more than 50 years and was a regular visitor with his grandchildren.

He said: “Everyone’s disgusted with it and the way they’ve gone about it.

“I’ve been fishing there for years and it’s disgusting how this has happened.

“It’s terrible, they gave us two days notice and we couldn’t get a hold of anyone.

“The locals are disgusted, not just the fishermen.”

Trustees said in July 2013 they were made aware of a health and safety issue which had “potentially life threatening consequences” relating to overcasting of lead weights by a minority of fishermen.

The board took the decision to stop all fishing at that stage until discussions could be held with the fishing club on the way to overcome the matter, but no such agreement was reached.

In a bid to manage the situation, reed rafts were installed in the pool to prevent overcasting, forming a barrier to encourage fish to stay away from the banks of the properties opposite.

Mr Lloyd added having the pool open for fishing had more benefits than downsides.

He said: “The pool is good for the kids.

“We just want to get our point across and get some help with it. There's a cracking head of fish down there for people to go for.”

Email:

david.humphreys@nwn.co.uk

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