Saturday, September 08, 2007

Restored pond re-opens for fishing

POND REOPENS: from left to right; Neville Fickling, Mark Howard, Ryan Hills, Janice Minns and Bob Croucher.

A derelict pond has re-opened as a community fishing lake after a 14-year-old scout won an £8,000 grant to restore it.

But as the first floats went under on Scouts Pond, just off King's Lynn town centre, the driving force behind the project admitted he hasn't had time to give fishing a try yet.

Scouts and people from the South Lynn community set to work last autumn after Ryan Hills was awarded a grant to restore the water by the Norfolk Youth Fund.

Surveying their handiwork at an open day on Saturday, Ryan said: "It's brilliant - I'm well-chuffed.

We've cleared the pond out, it was full of old rubbish and there were literally mounds of it everywhere, where people had just come in with their bins and tipped them up.

We've replanted some trees, put in benches and picnic tables and fenced it all off. We're going to tarmac the path, put in some fishing platforms and hopefully CCTV.”

Ryan, from North Wootton, said he hadn't got round to trying fishing yet. But he added: “I'm hoping to give it a go.”

Mark Howard, from the newly-formed East Lynn Angling Coaches, was on hand to give youngsters a few tips on pole fishing.

We've had a few kids down and they've all had a fish each, mostly little roach,” he said. “I've just done a PAA coaching course and we're going to be setting up in Lynn, we can do individual coaching and we're looking at getting into schools to get people interested in going fishing.”

South Lynn also boasts a new fishing club. PAC member Bob Croucher, secretary of the South Lynn Angling Club, said: “At the moment we've got around 20 members, the club is really to encourage kids to get involved in angling so we intend to have several aspects including sea angling.”

Declaring Scouts Pond open, former pike record holder Neville Fickling said he became hooked on fishing after catching a small roach in a stream near his childhood home in King's Lynn.

He added: "You've obviously gone to great effort, I hope you enjoy the fishing and it goes from strength to strength, it can only do your community good."

Janice Minns, group leader of the Seventh King's Lynn Scouts, said: "This has been a joint effort by a lot of people in this community.

"Barhale did loads to help us, the Norfolk Youth Fund approved a grant, we've had loads of help from the council and the clean-up team - I can't believe how everyone's pulled together."