Angling: Bumper grants are up for grabs to improve facilities

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For a country that is supposed to be skint with people all over the country facing cutbacks to all sorts of public services it amazes me when the Government repeatedly comes up with previously unnamed pots of money for other projects.

Sport England recently announced that they have a pot of money amounting to £15m available to all angling clubs to help them improve their fisheries and the amenities that they offer.

Sports England chief Nick Bitel also said that in the near future a further £40m would be available and at the moment they are waiting for bids from angling clubs and associations who wish to benefit from this fund to improve their facilities.

This fund was launched after the 2012 London Olympics to assist participation in all sports with one club – Burton Mutual – being the first to benefit by receiving a £50,000 grant to create a new clubhouse so the club can conduct indoor tuition sessions.

Who will be eligible to bid for a slice of this angling fund?

Any angling club which encourages the local community to get involved with the sport is eligible for funding and grants of up to £50,000 are available to help with issues such as lake restoration and the purchase of fishing tackle to use on coaching days.

For more information on how to submit an application just visit

As the festive season approaches just what do you fancy on the table for your Christmas dinner? The traditional turkey or maybe a nice leg of lamb or pork?

But in recent years, as we all know, many Eastern Europeans have chosen to make their home in this country and many of them prefer something different – their first choice for Christmas dinner being a nice fat carp with all the trimmings.

For many years carp was not on general sale at the fishmongers.

But in the last couple of years all that has changed and they can now be seen on the fish stalls in Leeds market.

The supermarkets have now cottoned on to this new method of boosting their sales as have the Polish and German speciality stores.

The fish on sale have been specially farmed and grown on in a similar way that trout and salmon have been bred for years and specifically for the table.

If you study the history of the carp you will find that they were introduced into this country many centuries ago both by the monks and the Romans as a source of food for their armies and the mirror carp is the result of selective breeding for it is far easier to remove a dozen scales before cooking than completely descaling a common carp.

That’s it for this year for the column will be taking a couple of weeks off for the Christmas break.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and I wish you all bulging keepnets in 2014.

Top rod Darren Starkey with a 3-02 perch from the bungalows section on the River Ouse. PIC: Steve Fearnley

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