2012 Borderlines projects.
Sessions with the Youth Station Fishing Club got under way in January with preparations for both salmon fishing and grayling fishing. Wednesday evenings were spent preparing tackle and as well as taking part in the bait casting league two of those Wednesday evenings involved making and painting Devon minnows.
Saturday 4th February was the day that the Youth Station Fishing Club put their newly painted Devon minnows to the test with a salmon fishing session on the Crosby beat of the river Eden. The day started well with a hard frost but got worse as the day went on with a bitter east wind and then snow and even though those taking part were well protected in Borderlines floatation suits with the snow setting in it was decided end the session early in the afternoon.
On the 8th February Borderlines Glyn Freeman led a fly tying session at the Youth Station as the fishing club members prepared for a winter fly fishing trip to Warwick Hall in pursuit of grayling.
The session was very well attended
There were some fine flies tied that evening
On Wednesday 22nd February youngsters from the Wigton Youth Station Fishing Club braved the elements and a rapidly rising river Eden to take part in a grayling fishing trip with Borderlines at Warwick Hall. The group had previously had to cancel a trip due to the river being in flood and with heavy rain forecast it was looking touch and go as to whether this trip would take place.
But fortunately the weather was kind or perhaps I should say that the expected rain wasn’t as heavy as had been forecast and the river remained just fishable, although getting higher all the time. As for the budding anglers they did very well in the difficult conditions, buffeted as they were by strong winds and despite the coloured and rising river they landed grayling, the occasional out of season brown trout and two dace with Tyler Richardson aged 15 landing the biggest fish of the day a grayling of 1lb 8oz, Tyler also landed a dace and a trout.
During previous sessions at the Youth Station club members have been building knowledge prior to the fishing trip; learning about the graylings habits and life cycle, the tackle and tactics used to fish for them as well as setting up their own float and feeder rods, tying hook lengths and even taking part in a fly tying session. Unfortunately conditions on the day meant that they were unable to try the flies they had tied and the windy conditions even ruled out float fishing with all of the fish being caught using maggot and swim feeder tactics.
On Thursday 23rd February Borderlines visited Greystoke School for a freshwater life session as well as been introduced to the water cycle, plants and invertebrates, the Year 5/6 children also began learning about rivers.
All were very enthused and some great questions were asked.
On Thursday 1st March it was freshwater fish day for the pupils at Greystoke School.
As well as learning about the life cycles of fish, the youngsters got the chance to take a closer look at minnows, sticklebacks and stoneloach in the classroom.
Wednesday 7th March, a field trip to the stream and pond within the castle grounds. Two groups learned how to kick sample the stream bed for invertebrate life and score how healthy the water really is. On the day there were large stonefly, mayfly of several species and caddis discovered, a very high score was recorded showing a pristine environment.
Chris also took a group for a river walk to show the effects of erosion, deposition, meanders and flow measurements.
A very enthusiastic group, great teachers and an absolute pleasure to be with.
For the last two Wednesday evening sessions at the Wigton Youth station, everyone has been busy learning about the tides, flounders, safety on the shoreline, tackle, tactics and bait as well as preparing rigs for the flounder fishing on the Solway firth.
There was a big tide but for once the weather was kind and there were fish caught.
Although the flounders weren’t exactly on a feeding frenzy, four anglers did catch fish, two of whom landed a brace each and everyone enjoyed the session.
Thanks once again to Angela and Tracey for organising transport and making sure everyone got there and back safe and sound.
Having had a taste of sea fishing it is planned to do some more during the summer months as part of the Fishing for Fun project, in the mean time. However with some Easter pike fishing trips coming up, Wednesday evenings are going to be filled with wire trace making and all manner of predator fishing preparations.
Borderlines have continued a long term engagement programme with hard to reach young people in Wigton. Based at Wigton Youth Station the project provides weekly sessions throughout the year, building both knowledge and anticipation towards regular monthly and school holiday fishing trips providing the ‘hook’ that will take young people away from negative behaviour. Enabling them to get a ‘buzz’ from positive activity whilst experiencing a sense of success and accomplishment that could be part of those initial steps away from crime. By introducing young people to lots of different forms of fishing that can be taken up locally, on a variety of waters, by providing coaching sessions to develop skills, regular competitions, trips away as well as broadening experiences and keeping them challenged we increase the chances of those young people finding that ‘hook’. 20 young people have took part in the sessions last year. The sessions build not just practical fishing skills but social skills, improving self confidence, listening skills, team working skills and mutual respect. Participants are steered away from anti social behaviour and given a sense of achievement and self worth. As well as learning to care about the environment and respect the needs of others e.g. not leaving litter and behaving properly in the countryside. Thus having a positive effect and benefit upon the whole community.
During February and March the children at Greystoke School took part in a series of four classroom sessions and two field trips that took them from the water cycle to both fly and bait fishing on the lakes at Greystoke Castle.
During April we worked with the Carlisle Youth Offending team introducing young people under ISSP orders to coarse fishing at Crofton Lake.
Over the past four years Borderlines has been a partner in the highly successful Fishing for Knowledge project which it has delivered to schools across Dumfries and Galloway. But there have been a number of other very successful environmental education projects in the region, which have been based around water habitats and education. Previous project partners felt that the joint delivery of the Fishing for Knowledge project with other existing projects, creating more complete water based learning experience would take water environmental education to another level, delivering multiple benefits, sharing costs, and would be hugely beneficial to all. The main aim of the Wonderful World of Water is to do just that, amalgamating already successful project experiences in this subject to deliver maximum benefit and combine costs where possible. We have trialled this in the Galloway and South Ayrshire Biosphere this year by delivering a series of after school experiences. This being done by a partnership of the following organizations:-
Galloway Fisheries Trust GFT)
Ayrshire Rivers Trust (ART)
Nith Catchment Fisheries Trust (NCFT)
Dumfries and Galloway Council Rangers Service
East Ayrshire Council Rangers Service
South Ayrshire Rangers Service, (delivered through National Trust Scotland Rangers)
With SEPA CMI providing Project Support
This ‘Wonderful World of Water’, is based on the same principles of interactive learning to gain interest, but with a broader education remit, incorporating other interactive experiences linked to the water ecology and the importance of protecting that environment. The project aims to give young people the opportunity to get the most enjoyment from their local rivers or ponds, to benefit themselves and the environment, and to have the opportunity to take up a new outdoor activity (one of those being fishing), as well as being encouraged/directed to other outdoor related activities in the area which they may like to become involved in.
The project fits well with the objectives of the Galloway and Ayrshire Biosphere Reserve, in improving participant’s appreciation of their local environment, encouraging a healthy outdoor lifestyle, potentially promoting the local angling economy and improving community and social interaction (and in some circumstances improving social behaviour) within the natural environment and with others.
As well as delivering Wonderful World of Water classroom and fishing sessions to schools in Girvan, Kirkowan, New Cumnock and St Mungos Primary Schools during the Spring term, Borderlines company secretary and instructor Chris Bowman delivered a talk about the Fishing for Knowledge project and the Wonderful World of Water at “Learning from Experience”, a Conference for Sustainable Development Education in Galloway and Southern Ayrshire UNESCO Biosphere. Held in September the conference brought together teaching staff and environmental practitioners to identify the opportunities that the new UNESCO Biosphere designation offered for Sustainable Development Education and Curriculum for Excellence in South West Scotland, and the benefits this could bring to the region. To share and learn from existing experiences of good practice in Outdoor Learning already taking place within SW Scotland and further afield.
Borderlines also spent two days at the end of May/beginning of June working with the Nith Catchment Fishery Trust introducing pupils from Maxwelltown and Wallace Hall School’s to fly fishing and the freshwater environment at Drum Loch.
Pupils from Burgh by Sands Primary School also took part in a pond dipping session with Borderlines in June.
In July we worked with Impact Housing running two successful family fishing days at Mossbay Reservoir at Salterbeck, Workington. We also ran the Carlisle Angling Association Junior Anglers day on the banks of the river Eden in Carlisle. Approaching 60 young people between the ages of 3 and 16 took part in the free, fun day out for those interested in taking up fishing. But it wasn’t just about catching fish. Rotating around four activities during the day with a break for a free lunch, youngsters learned about safety at the waters edge, the wealth of plants, invertebrates, fish and wildlife that a clean healthy river system can support. They tried their hand at identifying some of those invertebrates. They also tried their hand at fly tying learning how to tie a fly, they learned how to fly cast and took part in a fly casting competition. They also tried their hand at bait fishing and Reuben Williams aged 9 landed one of two trout of 1½lb caught during the morning session. The Carlisle Angling Association are to be congratulated for laying on the event as are their committee and members, the Eden Rivers Trust and Borderlines who worked hard to make the day a success. Although a dinner time deluge put pay to any picnics on the grass this year, it did not dampen spirits and it was nice to see so many youngsters and their parents enjoying the river in Rickerby Park together.
This summer Borderlines had a presence at 3 local shows. The West Cumbrian Game Fair, the Galloway Country Fair and played a major part; assisted by Penrith Angling Association, Carlisle Angling Association, REDFA and ERT, in resurrecting the Fishing Island at Lowther Show.
In August working with the Eden Youth Partnership a group of 7 young people enjoyed an afternoon’s introduction to trout fishing on the river Eden at Warwick Hall.
We also continued working with Carleton Hill Fishery running four introduction to coarse angling day’s at the fishery during the school Summer Holidays.
During August and September funded by the Environment Agency we provided a series of classroom sessions and field trips introducing children from Langholm Primary School, Langholm Playcare Group and Langholm Cubs to angling and the environment on the River Esk with a total of 129 children taking part.
In a project funded by the Co-op during October and November working with Carlisle Youth Zone Borderlines introduced youngsters to angling and the environment during a series of 6 sessions in the Youth Zone and on the river Eden and during November and December this work continued with Petteril Bank Youth Club in Carlisle.
Borderlines would like to thank the Carlisle Angling Association, the Carlisle and District Coarse Angling Club, Carleton Hill Fishery, Nick Marriner, James Carr and all the other clubs and fishery owners within the Eden catchment and beyond who have allowed us free use of their waters to introduce the young and those who may be disadvantage in some way to angling and the environment in 2012. We would also like to thank the tackle dealers and individual anglers who have donated items of tackle, angling books and magazines for youngsters, without their assistance we could not achieve half as much as we do.
Thank you all once again.
Chris Bowman MIFM CEnv