Dramatic improvements see Teesside fishery scoop a local award

Dramatic improvements to a Teesside fishery which has seen it develop into a valuable community space has helped it scoop a local award.

The Environment Agency has supported the Angling Trust and Billingham Angling Club in its work to improve Charlton’s Pond at Billingham.

The club, which manages the pond, has made improvements to make it accessible for everyone, created new habitat to encourage wildlife.

It won the Community Spaces and Buildings Award in the annual Catalyst Achievement Awards, which celebrates unsung heroes who make a difference to the lives of people in Stockton.

Billingham Angling Club has been part of the local community for over 80 years, with generations of keen anglers enjoying the sport. Charlton’s Pond is one of Stockton’s oldest nature reserves after becoming a dedicated bird sanctuary in 1968.

Dave Munt, Club and Fishery Development Officer (East) for the Angling Trust said: “The Award was great recognition for all members, young and old of Billingham Angling Club, that have helped over the years in the development and stewardship of the area. They should all be very proud of themselves.

“The experience I’ve gained over the years as an angling club official, supported by the local Environment Agencies Fisheries team has been a great benefit in my work with the Angling Trust and its Get Fishing campaign to encourage more people to give fishing a go.”

The awards ceremony took place at The Wynyard Hall Marquee on June 13th and saw people from the voluntary and community sector come together to champion the work of individuals and not-for-profit organisations.

Paul Frear, Fisheries Technical Officers with the Environment Agency in the North East, has worked closely with the angling club over the years. He said: “Charlton’s Pond is a brilliant community facility and the angling club has worked hard to increase participation over the years, with this space now a hub for keen anglers.

“We’re delighted we’ve been able to support its development over the years with funding, fish stocking and advice on its development as a viable fishery and this award shows just how it’s gone from strength to strength.

“Fishing is a great sport with multiple benefits and we work hard with our partners to develop and support fisheries right across the North East.”

Over 40,000 people have been introduced to angling through the Angling Trust’s Get Fishing campaign which is funded by the Environment Agency. If you want to give fishing a go you can buy a rod licence at www.gov.uk/fishing-licences and find hundreds of free fishing events at www.getfishing.org.uk.

All fishing licence income is used to fund work to protect, improve and develop fisheries, fish habitats and angling.

–ENDS–

Photos:

Billingham Angling Club’s ‘Junior Mentors’ are sponsored by Epic Teesside. Sonny, Harvey and Logan are pictured with this year’s awards.

Club Mentors with Harvey’s young brother Brandan – the club’s youngest member at just 4 years old!

Brandan with a crucian carp caught at Charltons Pond last year, aged 3.

Notes to Editors:
The Get Fishing campaign is run by the Angling Trust to increase the number of people being introduced to angling across the country. Anyone interested in going fishing can find angling events at getfishing.org.uk. The events listed are for all participants regardless of gender, age, fitness or previous angling experience. Contact: Will Smith, Angling Promotion Manager, Angling Trust on will.smith@anglingtrust.net

The Environment Agency funds the Angling Trust to provide more opportunities for people to go fishing. Money from rod licence sales is spent on improving angling habitat and infrastructure through projects like the Angling Improvement Fund. You can get a fishing licence at www.gov.uk/fishing-licences