The article below was in the Harrow Times & Watford Observer dated 26.06.18, concerning London Colney Lakes.
A community of fishermen who are using the same spot in Hertfordshire for 84 years say they have been treated “poorly” since the decision not to renew their licence was taken.
Barnet and District Angling Club have fished the waters of Broad Colney Lakes in St Albans for decades – but in May the club was told the land was due to be sold.
They were left heartbroken when Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust told them the news.
Club secretary of 20 years, David Porter, said he noticed the club’s membership “diminish” significantly since receiving the news, to 350 from at one time around 600 members. He said the drop was brought about because of the “loss of the lakes”.
The club formed in 1934 and the original “lease” to fish the London Colney waters – a “key” area for the community – was established by “gentleman’s agreement”.
Then, in the 1980’s, the club was given an official licence in the form of a ten-year rolling agreement.
However, in 2014/15 the decision was taken by the Trust not to renew the licence on a ten-year basis and a one-year contract was offered and accepted, with three subsequent renewals thereafter.
Then in May this year, the angling club received an email telling them they “no longer had the right” to fish in Broad Colney while negotiations were happening.
David, 70, said: “This has had a major effect on the Club. They started to put restrictions on the areas where we could fish all based on health and safety issues, which we couldn’t argue with.
“The sale of the land was always out there but had been mooted. Then we were told a year ago there would likey be a sale.
“We’ve had a big drop in membership, its diminished the club because the more members you have the more money you can get, the more you can do – and up to now our licence allowed us to make improvements to the lakes.
“No credence was given to 84 years as a tenant. We wanted to open it up to more people and bring in the young; to go for grants to improve the fishery but that didn’t hold a lot of weight. The club feels strongly we have been poorly treated by the Trust.
“If you’re a golfer at your local club and it closes and you have to travel around you deal with it, there is little allegiance to something you can’t have anymore.”
David said the club would still like to “come to some agreement” to continue fishing at Broad Colney.
Dr Tom Day, Head of Living Landscapes, Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust:“We have been happy to lease part of Broad Colney Lakes to Barnet and District Angling Club over the years but that lease has come to an end and their tenancy has expired.
“In the past we have extended the lease on a rolling basis to the club but last year the decision was made to put Broad Colney Lakes on the market as it no longer represented the best use of our charity funds that could be used elsewhere to greater effect.
“This meant that we were unable to extend the lease as we have done in the past as we won’t own the site going forward. The sale is currently in the hands of our solicitors and there is no confirmed sale as of yet.”
With the current absence of Broad Colney Lakes in the Club fixture card, the following matches will be at Bowmans Farm.
12th August 2018, 14th October 2018, 17th February 2019, 10th March 2019.
The Draw: will be 8.30am top car park fish 10am -4pm
Tickets £7 Pools (optional) £10
pellet restrictions to Bowmans own pellet
compulsory dipping of nets prior to all matches.
booking as normal through London Colney Tackle.
If you have not renewed your membership for this year 2018/19 last years ticket dated (2017/18), is now out of date, so should you wish to renew your membership, payments by cheque to the address on the bottom of your renewal form, or visit the web-site where payment can be made via pay-pal using your credit/debit card or you can renew at one of the shops Potters Bar Angling or London Colney Tackle but that will cost an extra £5.00
renewal at shops Adult (£78) Junior (£40) OAP (£54).
If you don’t have a form you can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email one to you.
AS from the 8th May 2018 the Club has lost the right to fish at both Broad Colney lakes.
The sale has progressed slowly and at the moment we understand that nothing has been fully agreed and signed. As soon as a contract has been agreed we may be in a position to further address our future at the lakes.
Please be advised: The Club is no longer able to accept any responsibility for any anglers, members or not, who decide to fish at the lakes and that should they do so, it is under their own volition and that they are fully aware of any consequences that may arise.
A new club member has requested the following information. If anyone can help get in touch with me email@example.com and I will pass on any relevant details.
“I just joined the club. I fish for pikes with lures exclusively. I primarily joined to fish the Fishers Green area that I know a little bit but of course I’d like to take advantage of other venues that are part of the “ticket”.
I was wondering if you could tell me in which water I’d have the best opportunity to fish for pikes with lures.”
If Members park in Fishers Green Lane there is a cost of £2.50 for 24 hours , the same applies for Stubbings Lane car park.
If members go through the combination lock gates to the car parks desingnated for anglers of the Consortium, there is no charge.
As some of you already know the LVRPA is introducing Car Parking charges for The Hooks Marsh and Stubbins Hall Lane car parks from 8th March. Charges are First Hour Free and the £2.50 for 24hrs. Penalty charge of £100 if no Ticket.At Stubbins Hall Lane, once inside the Combination Gate to the river our two car parks are unaffected however Camera’s have been erected covering the route past the car Park to the Fishers Green Gate. We were told that they would only cover the entrance and exit to the Car Park. Clearly they do not. It is unclear how these will operate and clarification is being sought.
Hooks Marsh is altogether different as in the past we have shared the Car Park with the Dog Walkers, Bird Watchers and general members of the Public. So far we have been unable to come to a solution that gives Consortium Anglers free parking though several ideas have been put forward.
I have also asked for the 24 hrs period to be defined as both Car Parks are locked at Night with Consortium members using the combination to gain access.
These charges have been instigated at a high level inside the LVRPA and we are currently trying to find the correct person to address our fears and arrange a Meeting accordingly.
Please be patient as a solution may take a little time but feel free to register your comments on the Parking to the LVRPA at Middelton House on 0300 003 0610 or send an e-mail. I have complained on your behalf but that counts as only one complaint. Please encourage your members to make the call to complain. It will help.
I will keep you all informed of progress