School of Excellence is a very bright idea

THE main topic in the angling press recently has been about setting up a "School of Excellence" for budding anglers.

The man behind the scheme is Cyril Brewster who is the owner of the Cudmore complex in Staffordshire.

His lakes are well known as the home of the Fish O'Mania contest. He has approached all of the major fishing tackle companies and the likes of five-time world champion Alan Scotthorne and former world stars Bob Nudd and Will Raison to ask them to host tuition sessions.

The aim of the proposed school is to promote angling with the main focus on junior development plus good angling practice, to teach environmental awareness and provide a safe and fun-loving experience.

I think that this idea could really take off at Cudmore, which is well situated in the Midlands, but I think the Angling Trust should be the ones to promote the sport and not a private individual.

Remember a few years ago when the National Federation of Anglers moved their headquarters to the National Water Sports Centre at Holme Pierrepoint near Nottingham?

There were suggestions at the time to set up a similar project to that which is proposed by Mr Brewster.

There is ample accommodation, lecture and conference halls, offices, bars, cafs and a 400-metre rowing course.

All of this is set to be abandoned very shortly as the whole lot is being transferred to a newly-built site in London which has been constructed for the 2012 Olympics.

Pierrepoint is absolutely ripe for a takeover but of course the problem would be funding and we all know that the Trust is strapped for cash. Oh well, I can dream can't I?

Weatherwise this month has been very strange.

We kicked off with low temperatures and records were set all over the country with the lowest at Topcliffe where minus 19 was shown for a couple of nights.

Of course the fishing has been badly affected with all of the still waters icebound and even parts of the Ouse, the Swale and Ure frozen over.

I only know of one fishery which managed to stay open at Forest Lane, not far from Aldwark, where the owner has a unique system.

His aerators are not the conventional surface type, they are underwater and are powered by the onsite windfarm system which can be kept running non-stop.

I am very surprised that other fishery owners have not followed his example.

The column is now taking a couple of weeks off and returns in the New Year.

Leeds water bailiff Lee Garrad with the kind of big money carp that has been targeted by thieves.

Anglers on edge after upturn in fish thefts