Saturday, 20 August 2011

Kayak fishing at Terry's Pool‏

On the 4th of this month, I was surprised to see a man in a kayak fishing on Terry's Pool and assumed this was just a one-off instance of rule-breaking, as I knew for a fact fishing was only allowed along the side adjoining Engine Pool. However, two days later I found a Shoveler at Terry's Pool, then all of a sudden it flew off rapidly with a few Mallards, leaving the lakes. Walking round a bend I found the reason - there was a kayak with a fisherman in it again, and he was fishing next to one of the Amphibious Bistort beds.

It's only during the past few days that I've found out what is happening here. British Waterways are allowing Kayak fishing at Terry's Pool for a trial period of 12 months, after which they will review the situation. This trial has been started (3 months ago???) apparently with no consultation with anyone local, and certainly not with the Earlswood Wildlife Partnership.

A significant number of lakes in Warwickshire have been spoilt for birds due to the introduction or intensification of fishing, and there is bird count data to prove this. Naturally I am very concerned about the effects these kayaks will have on the waterbirds that breed at Terry's Pool - Great Crested Grebes, Coots, the Mute Swan pair and other species. Terry's Pool is also used as a refuge by visiting and resident birds, which are often disturbed by activities at the other two pools. My other concerns are damage to the Amphibious Bistort clumps, which are favoured feeding areas for waterbirds and I assume the fish too, and soil erosion on the banks used to access the water, since there is no slipway. There is also the danger of people seeing the kayaks on the water and going on the water with their own boats, homemade rafts, etc. which could be dangerous for them.

I appreciate that British Waterways is due to become a new charity next year, and will need to look for more ways to earn money from its waters, but this is a very bad idea in my opinion, for wildlife and human reasons.

If you have any comments on this please leave a comment on this post or send them to my email address, and I'll pass them on to the Earlswood Wildlife Partnership, who'll need to receive them before August 26th.



midlands birder said...

Hey Matt, a really worrying situation.
I actually dropped into Earlswood yesterday, walking in from the engine pool car park, walking down to the lake, and seeing that every other metre of the shoreline of engine pool had a fisherman on the bank!!!, I could also see sailing going on at windmill pool, so i walked in and walked out, little chance for any waders with the heavy rain earlier in the day!!
Hopefully we can change British waterways thoughts!!

Kevin B said...

shocking situation but i guess they see it as a way to make money, they should have a good look at the state of the lakes with the litter, and fires and camping overnight already taking place destroying the tranquility of the site. I am still dubious about the new path around terrys pool as i can see the pool as a haven beeing destroyed and as for Kayaking taking place it will just result in all the undesirable elements launching blow up dingeys and causing untold damage to the wildlife, this must be stopped

Matthew Griffiths said...

Thanks MB and Kevin for your thoughts.

I've just realised that something I forgot to mention in the post was the tern raft! Although it hasn't been used this year, I think there's a good chance the terns could use it next year, but of course they won't if even just one kayak is allowed on Terry's.


Carrie said...

I am worried about this especially when so many people have done so much hard work to encourage wild life. Do they bring the Kayaks with them or are they stored at the lakes somewhere. Surely if they bring them that in its self poses a bit of a problem to other users of the lakes.

Matthew Griffiths said...

Hi Carrie,
They bring the kayaks with them. It must be a bit awkward getting them past the gate from the Malthouse Lane car park too.