The Green Heart of Poringland


Kingfishers Celebrate an Amazing Year

The sixth and final Kingfishers’ event of the year was held in near perfect conditions.  Despite the October scheduling, the sun was bright and warm and the wind was slight, conditions that suited the youngsters, families and fish alike! 

For the first time the session included a mini-match, a new initiative that proved to be very popular especially as there was some handsome trophies up for grabs. 

Once again, all the children managed to catch, however three youngsters emerged as trophy winners.  Biggest fish of the day was a common carp weighing 3lb 7oz which was skilfully landed by Tristan, earning him the Westgarth Cup. 

Bethany caught the most fish and was presented with the Dewar Shield while the trophy for most improved member over the year went to Jack. 

Principal organiser and architect of the Kingfisher concept, Andy Dewar was delighted. 

“It's been an amazing year, a bit of a learning curve for us all but a real pleasure” said Andy.  “I can’t thank everyone enough for their support and enthusiasm.  See you all next year!” 

It was a sentiment echoed by club welfare officer Lloyd Burgess who said 

“Well done to everyone in this first year of the Kingfisher club.  The kids have enjoyed and learned lots, so have the brilliant staff and enthusiastic parents.  I am very proud of what we have achieved this first year, a huge pat on the back to all. Roll on next year!” 

Parents were delighted too and full of praise for the organisers and volunteers. 

“Well done to all the competition winners and thank you so much to all the volunteers. You are all so good with the children. Looking forward to next year” said mum Stacey Robertson. 

The participation sub group responsible for the promotion of the highly successful Family Fishing Fun Days and Kingfisher Club activities is expected to meet later this month to discuss their plans for 2018.

Kingfisher Questions and Answers 

In keeping with modern business techniques, organisers of the Kingfisher club have launched their own customer survey, with remarkable results. 

All 16 youngsters were canvassed for their views and the responses were remarkably similar. 

Clearly everyone enjoyed the fishing, reflected by the high attendance rate, but virtually to a man, well boy and girl really, they mostly liked catching big fish.  When asked what their goals are for next year, almost all said they would love to catch the lakes’ celebrity fish, Appleslice, or a ten pound carp. 

One thing everyone was agreed on is that they would like more Kingfisher events next year, a pleasing and encouraging response that may well cause already over-worked volunteers a few headaches.  Some youngsters would even like the monthly events to become weekly sessions on every Saturday morning. 

Some found the sessions too long and would like a mid-morning break maybe for a snack or hot drink while the majority would like to try their hand at match fishing. 

When asked about their highlights, the youngsters said. 

“Catching my first carp on the first day.”

“I caught a tench and it was fun.”

“When I caught the tiny crucian.”

“Loved everything!” 

But pleasingly for some the fishing, however enjoyable, was not the main consideration.  Other replies included: 

“I have really enjoyed being part of the Kingfishers.  I have enjoyed making new friends with the same interests.”

“Spending time with Grandad and making new friends.”

“Catching carp and my competition with Jack.” 

Full results from the questionnaire will be circulated to Kingfisher club officials and volunteers when they have their year-end meeting in October and will help shape the 2018 programme. 

Rain Fails to Dampen Enthusiasm

Although the weather was wet and uninviting, 13 members turned out for the fifth Kingfisher event, eight fishing the whip and five traditional rod and reel. 

In a change from the norm, organisers opted not to use maggots but to switch to other baits including pellet, sweetcorn and luncheon meat with the occasional worm sourced from the lake apron. 

Although the fishing was hard, most youngsters caught but once again everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. 

“Well done to all involved and once again thank you to all the volunteers and coaches” said organiser Andy Dewar.  “Without you all it would not be possible to hold these events and your time and knowledge is extremely appreciated.” 

So popular have the Kingfisher days proved, that an additional event has been added to the schedule.  In order to give the youngsters a taste of competitive fishing, a mini match will be held on Saturday 14 October when a cup, shield and trophy will be up for grabs. 

Kingfishers’ New Approach

The fourth Kingfisher session adopted a slightly different approach.  For the first time, instead of just fishing, the coaches held a coaching session teaching the juniors how to use a rod and reel set up and attaching a rig to a whip.  The youngsters also had the opportunity to try some other baits including expander pellets and diced luncheon meat, opposed to the maggots they had used previously. 

Once again the weather was kind and everyone caught.  Club safety officer John Hodgson kindly donated trophies for the biggest fish which was won by nine year-old Jack while seven year-old Bethany won the Catch of the Day award for most fish, 13 in all, plus a really good carp which she was very chuffed about. 

Still reflecting on a visit by the coaches to Gipping Valley angling club in Ipswich earlier in the week, head coach Mark Casto was delighted with the session and the progress the Kingfishers are making.        

“Our visit to Gipping Valley proved to be very worthwhile and the team picked up lots of good advice and ideas from their coaches” said Mark.  “I am so pleased how the Kingfisher club is progressing.  Everything is going really well with lots of ideas and things to think about as we progress with the club” he added. 

Kingfisher III – “Best Yet”

Kingfisher III was described by organisers, participants and parents alike as the best yet. 

The weather couldn’t have been better for fishing as results proved with over 80 fish caught ranging from small roach and skimmers through to some quality common and crucian carp, tench and bream. 

“All thirteen Kingfishers had a great day learning new skills” reported organiser Andy Dewar. 

“I am certain a lot of them wish the next Kingfisher day was tomorrow but sadly all will have to wait for the next event on Saturday 19 August. 

“Thanks again must go to Groundhog Hardware, who kindly sponsored bait for all the Kingfisher days, and to all the volunteers who give up their time” added Andy. 

Club leader Mark Casto was equally enthusiastic. 

“I think today was the best one yet with everyone catching and clearly having a great time. 

"Courtney caught a stunning crucian carp while Joseph bagged the biggest fish of the day, a nice carp about 5lb.  Meanwhile Darcy did very well catching several big bream and, despite his young age, has already expressed interest in becoming an angling coach which is just brilliant. 

“The sheer energy, enthusiasm and joy these children shared with us all was enough to make anyone's day.  This really a fantastic initiative to get youngsters into the sport.  It's a great privilege to be involved” enthused Mark.

Second Kingfisher Day a Big Success

Despite sweltering temperatures and the smell of sun cream wafting across the lake, the Kingfishers enjoyed another good day.

Although having to work hard for bites, once again the group of 13 all managed to catch including some nice tench, bream and the tiniest crucian carp you ever will see!

The mums and dads seemed to enjoy it too.

“Thank you all you all for another well organised event” said Debbie Ingle.  “My son Joseph had a great time and spent the rest of the day telling everyone about the fish he'd caught.  Big thanks to Mark for such patient coaching. Such a great way to get the next generation into fishing whilst enjoying nature” added Debbie. 

Andy Dewar, architect to the Kingfishers’ initiative, was also delighted with the day.          

“Many thanks to all the volunteers for their hard work and to local hardware store Groundhog, who have kindly sponsored the bait for all the club days this year” he said.

Major Boost for Youth Programmes 

Poringland Lakes youth development programmes have received a major boost following a generous donation. 

So impressed was a local resident with the initiatives being taken to encourage local youngsters to take up fishing, that he has donated £250 toward to cause. 

“I am unable to do much toward helping with the maintenance or running of the lakes but I wholeheartedly support the new initiatives being carried out” said the generous benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. 

“To that end I would like to make a donation to help buy some equipment for the new Kingfisher Club and/or the Family Fishing Days which are both great initiatives by the Association.” 

Kingfishers Off to a Flying Start

 The newly introduced Kingfisher Club, exclusively for juniors between 6 and 16, has got off to a flying start – to widespread acclaim. 

The opening day was perfect weatherwise but the bright sun and cloudless sky made conditions difficult for the thirteen new recruits.  Despite the coaches and fishing champions doing all they could to attract fish, bites were hard to come by and unfortunately not all youngsters managed to catch. 

The day was summed up best by club welfare officer Lloyd Burgess who said: 

 “Despite not everyone catching, i think it was a huge success and can only go from strength to strength.  The youngsters were very attentive and a joy to work with.  The support team have a very professional approach and i think everyone enjoyed the day.  Well done!” 

For one for principal organisers Andy Dewar it was a dream come true. 

“Just over a year ago the juniors’ club was just an idea.  Now thanks to the fantastic support from Sport England and the Angling Trust whose grants made it possible to purchase the fishing tackle, that dream has become a reality. 

“To all the volunteers thank you for your enthusiasm and skills that you bring to the club. May the Kingfisher Club go from strength to strength in the years to come” added Andy.