End of the line for Borderlines.
The year is 1996. Three local anglers are at New Mills near Brampton and are in deep discussion about how they can contribute to the sport they love by introducing youngsters into angling.
In true ‘Mission Impossible’ style, someone gives them the challenge – introduce 20,000 youngsters, from all sorts of backgrounds, to angling.
Now knowing the three anglers well, I think that, had that challenge been given now, they would have run a mile.
Fast forward to 2022. That is exactly what the intrepid threesome have done. Chris Bowman, Glyn Freeman and Clive Mitchelhill (all successful AAPGAI / angling instructors in their own right) have introduced over 24,000 youngsters to most of the different aspects of the sport over the last 25 years. A tremendous achievement.
In an area covering from Lancaster in the south to Girvan in the south west of Scotland and over to Northumbria, Borderlines have worked with many different groups and institutions.
Schools, academies, youth clubs and colleges. Angling trusts, fishing clubs and local authorities including the police. The disabled, terminally ill and young offenders – it would probably be easier to list who Borderlines haven’t worked with than who they have.
Within the team lies an abundance of fishing knowledge. They have delivered sessions in all aspects of angling from game and coarse angling to sea fishing and specimen hunting – everything that anyone wanted to do has been catered for. Angling careers develop in many ways and so showing youngsters as many different aspects as possible so they can make their mind up how they progress is really important.
And it is not only the youngsters themselves who have been trained during the sessions. Parents of keen youngsters have also been taught as much about the sport as the youngsters themselves – Borderlines philosophy is that they can’t be there all the time so the parents have an important role to play if the youngsters are to be successful.
In recent times, the south west of Scotland around Dumfries has been the main area of focus. The Nith Trust – headed by Jim Henderson, (a director of Borderlines since 2006) and Debbie Parke, have been running two major projects – ‘Fishing for the Future’ which delivers fishing and environmental training to junior schools and the ‘Nith Young Anglers Club’ have been massively successful projects.
It is with The Nith Trust that the Borderlines legacy lives on. They will continue to run both projects from now on while the Borderlines Team put their feet up and enjoy a well earned retirement. Who knows, they may even get to do some fishing themselves.
As company secretary since 2018, I, along with Roger Smith another local angling instructor, have been privileged to have worked with the guys from the Borderlines team and honestly believe that the areas youngsters couldn’t have been in better hands.
A very big thank you with much appreciation to all that have been so generous to sponsor Borderlines over the years, it could not have been done without you!
Well done to you all – mission accomplished !!!
AAPGAI instructor and Borderlines Secretary.
Welcome to Borderlines.
Borderlines is a not for profit company formed in 2005 with the aim of removing as many of the barriers to participation in angling as possible for all groups of the population regardless of age, ability, race, religion or social background with particular emphasis on the disadvantaged, disabled and those requiring rehabilitation. Working with schools in England and Scotland, Borderlines education programmes compliment both national curriculum and curriculum for excellence.
The Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty was our first serious contributor, a generous grant from their Sustainable Development Fund enabled us to take 120 youngsters from deprived wards in Cumbria on to the Solway Firth in 2006 to not only learn about fishing but gain an introduction to this nationally scarce habitat and the invertebrate, plant and wildlife communities it supports.
Solway Firth flounder fishing day with Wigton Youth Station.
Shakespeare and Daiwa have also supported Borderlines with various projects by providing tackle at substantially discounted rates.
Playing and landing trout on the fly.
With all of our sessions safety is paramount, this is particularly so with sessions involving youngsters, during the last decade or so several tragic incidents have occurred on school out of bound trips. If we allow coaching standards and attention to detail to drop, an incident such as this could happen within angling, such incidents illustrate all too graphically the need for constant vigilance, by properly trained and qualified angling instructors. As coaches we have a duty of care to maintain coaching standards and attention to detail to provide a safe and secure environment in which to learn angling.
River dipping for invertebrates.
Angling instruction for Borderlines is provided by Clive Mitchelhill, Glyn Freeman, Derek Kelly (Borderlines Company Secretary), Roger Smith and Chris Bowman. Clive, Glyn and Derek are all members of A.A.P.G.A.I. the (Association of Advanced Professional Game Angling Instructors) and F.F.F. (Federation of Fly Fishers). Chris is a Professional Anglers Association registered coach. As members of these organisations, Borderlines is able to draw on other qualified instructors to deliver larger projects and cover a wider area.
The desired outcome at Crofton Lake!
The study of their own local environment and lives can motivate young people to enjoy practicing skills of writing, reading, drawing, measuring, calculating, designing and public speaking through approaches that make learning relevant and applied.
A very nice grayling from the river Nith.
There is a large body of research that illustrates the importance of environmental experience and contact with nature in childhood to promote children’s physical and mental health and well being.
Things are now going full circle, we are getting youngsters that have attended our junior angling courses doing their works experience with us, some have become very competent anglers. They will become the angling coaches, tackle dealers and fishery managers of the future.
We are not just showing people how to catch fish, we are casting better futures and if all of us within angling and it’s allied industries work together on this, things as they say, can only get better.
Please do take the time to explore this site.