The Green Heart of Poringland


Development Plan Setback

Plans to install a dedicated electricity supply and a permanent aeration system at Poringland Lakes have suffered a setback.

The trustees had applied to the Angling Trust for a £5,000 grant towards the ambitious £10,000 project but their bid has been rejected, at least for the time being.

Explaining the unsuccessful bid, Angling Improvement Fund administrator Chloe Guy said  "The judges were generally positive about your project. However, due to the volume of applications we do not have the funds available to award all the grants at this time and unfortunately your project has fallen just short of the ones we are able to fund.

"However that being said, we are currently in the process of trying to source additional funding in the hope that all projects with a strong case are able to receive the grant requested" she added.

Lead trustee Paul Bonham who masterminded the bid was disappointed but still optimistic that the project would go ahead.

"It's important that we deliver this project for the long term benefit of the site" said Paul. "However it appears all is not lost. We are now exploring other funding sources as well as monitoring the Angling Trust's attempt to gain additional funding." 

Maintenance Work Continues

With temperatures nudging the mid twenties, a small but resolute band of volunteers tackled the challenge of tidying up the lakes ahead of a visit from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

The branches from the felled trees in Duffield were transported to the bonfire site ready for burning, the 'rogue' saplings growing around the lakes edges were removed, lifebuoy housings cleaned and potholes car park access track was filled.

Site manager Ryan Westgarth was pleased with progress.

"Although we had a small turn out, all the lads knuckled down and we got a lot done” he said.  “My thanks to Andy, Jonny, Mick and Nick for all their efforts on a blistering hot day" he added. 

Blue Water – No Cause for Concern

Visitors to Poringland Lakes will notice a dramatic change in the water colour. 

In an effort to control the spread of Canadian pondweed, the three main lakes have been treated with a special dye which turns the water blue but eventually retards weed growth. 

Applying the bright blue dye earlier today, fishery manager Ryan Westgarth was keen to point out that the dye will not affect the fish or established plants like water lilies or bankside reed or rush. 

It will however prevent the sun from penetrating weed growing on the bottom of the lakes and so significantly reduce Canadian pondweed which threatens to over-run the lakes, especially in Noble. 

The treatment was recommended by fishery consultants Framlingham Fisheries who have a long association with the lakes and are familiar with the waters’ characteristics. 

Chris Vickers, who heads the consultancy division, has 20 years experience in aquatic management and has been a regular visitor to Poringland, added his reassurance. 

“We have extensive experience in the use of water dyes for the control of aquatic weed and algae. This new water treatment can be both effective and environmentally friendly. 

“While aquatic weed has many beneficial attributes, there are times when you have too much of a certain species which, if not addressed, chokes the entire water body which is the problem at Poringland. 

In recent weeks, bailiffs have been concerned about low oxygen levels, especially in Gudgeon.  As a result the trustees have applied to the Angling Trust for a £5,000 grant towards the installation of a permanent electricity supply and aeration.

Big Clear Up Begins

Volunteers are busy clearing the site after this week's gale force winds ripped out trees and brought down branches. 

"Thankfully there was no damage to the more established trees" said head bailiff Ray Noble. "but once again several of the shallow rooted birches in the copse were badly affected." 

Plans are already in place to replace some of the lost trees. 

"I would like to see a few native pines planted to give the site some all year greenery and bird cover" said leading conservationist Peter Aspinall. 

Top Official Praises Lakes 

One of the region’s top angling officials has praised Poringland Lakes for its efforts in promoting the sport to youngsters. 

Writing on the lakes’ sister Facebook page, co-chairman of the Broads Angling Strategy Group, Mark Casto, posted the following comment 

“This is a heartfelt and very public thank you to all the folks that manage Poringland Lakes. 

“This year has been brilliant seeing so many youngsters take up fishing for the first time and families coming along to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. It’s people like you that really care about the local community that makes such a difference.          

“So thank you for all your hard work and wishing you all the very best for 2018.” 

In 2017 the Association attracted 159 new anglers to the sport including 121 under-13s.  Equally pleasing is the fact that 37 of the newcomers were women or girls.

Website Celebrates 100,000 Visits 

Poringland Lakes’ website is celebrating a memorable and truly remarkable milestone – 100,000 visits. 

Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed that the counter at the foot of the home page has clicked over the magical six figure mark, with more friends and supporters than ever regularly clicking on www.poringlandlakes.co.uk. 

Although much of the credit must go to the hard working editorial team, the support of Norfolk Homes has been crucial to the site’s continued development.  The company has fully funded the site since it was launched in May 2014, saving the Association hundreds of pounds in running costs. 

“The website is key to virtually everything we do at the lakes” said president Dave Gudgeon.  “So we are indebted to Norfolk Homes for their continued encouragement and support” he added. 

When it was launched, organisers hoped for a few hundred visits each month but now it regularly attracts well over 3,000 visits a month, far exceeding expectations. 

Electricity Supply Gets Green Light 

Poringland Lakes will soon have its own dedicated power supply. 

Trustees gave the go ahead to the ambitious project to further enhance and improve the lakes facilities. 

For some time, emergency power has been provided by a friendly neighbour but now the lakes will have its own metered supply. 

The programme will involve UK Power Networks installing a 79 metre mains cable, at a cost of £4,000, from a junction in Hillside to a point next to the welcome sign at the lakes entrance.  The PCFLA will provide a kiosk at this point to accommodate the supply, dig a 450mm deep trench to the storage container and supply a meter cabinet. 

The total project is expected to cost in the region of £6,000. 

“While we have been very appreciative of the temporary supply and support of our neighbours, it is important we now have our own dedicated supply” explained head bailiff Noble, who joins Paul Bonham and Mick Waller as part of a three-man project team overseeing the operation. 

“Not only will it make our security systems even more robust but it will allow us to do much more on-site work including running the pumps and charging equipment.  Eventually it would enable us to fit aeration equipment, CCTV and the like – as well as making the occasional cuppa” smiled Ray. 

“Local contractor Mick Waller Pumps has already offered to help out by supplying equipment and doing some of the groundworks, so that should help to keep the costs down” explained Ray. 

The implementation programme, including dates, will be announced shortly. 

Maintenance Work Continues 

For the past month, volunteers have given up their Sunday mornings to carry out essential maintenance works at Poringland Lakes.

The ambitious programme includes installing new fishing pegs, restoring the dipping platform in the conservation pond, clearing troublesome Canadian pondweed and general housekeeping. 

“I’d like to thank everyone who have helped out” said lakes’ head bailiff Ray Noble.  “We have made good progress but there is still a fair bit to do including installing a few more fishing pegs and controlling Canadian pond weed.”

Now the race is on the complete the fishing pegs ahead of the 31 August deadline set by the Angling Trust who have funded the work and plan to inspect it shortly after.

Volunteers Brave Soaring Temperatures

The hottest day of the year didn't prevent a small but hardy band of volunteers from constructing two new fishing pegs on Noble lake. 

With temperatures nudging 30 degrees, the volunteers certainly worked up a sweat as they continued the programme of improving access and safety, an initiative funded by the Angling Trust. 

Plans to install two dipping platforms in the newly restored conservation pond suffered a setback when it was realised the ground was still saturated and unable to support the weight if the platforms. 

"We'll have to rethink our plans" said head bailiff Ray Noble. "We’ll still go ahead with the work but will need to strengthen the foundation in order to securely support the platform" he explained. 

Meanwhile, further progress was made de-weeding the lake and installing owl and bat boxes in the woodland glade. 

"We'll need to organise some more work parties to finish the job" said Ray. “Hopefully on a less warm day!" 

Police Apprehend Suspected Vandals 

Trustees of the lakes are hoping that a recent spell of vandalism will now end after police intercepted a group of lads leaving the site in the early hours of the morning. 

Police stopped five young men at 1.30am, one of whom was carrying a lakes' lifebuoy. 

The site has suffered a spate of vandalism and theft recently including life belts stolen or thrown into the lakes together with building materials and log seats upended and moved. Neighbouring residential property has also been damaged. There are also signs that drug taking has taken place. 

The police and lakes' bailiffs will be increasing their patrols of the area.          

Although open to the public, the lakes are privately owned by PCFLA. Anyone found at the lakes after dark will be cautioned and may have civil action taken against them. 

Cars Banned from Conservation Area 

The trustees have unanimously agreed to prohibit cars from parking in the conservation area with immediate effect. 

In a statement issued recently, the association explained the reasons behind their decision. 

“We realise that this will come as a disappointment to some season ticket holders, especially those who have parked inside the gate for many years.  However we need to protect the conservation area, maximise the use of the car park and to treat all members equitably. 

“Now that we have potentially 76 season ticket holders, it is no longer appropriate or viable for everyone to be allowed to park inside the gate.  We trust season ticket holders will understand the reasons behind this decision and continue to support the Association’s principles.” 

Outfall Completed

Contractors have completed the long awaited outfall from Mill Close development. 

Alan Wright Builders put the final touches to the installation earlier today.  The outfall will now provide the lakes with a sustainable water source for many years to come. 

The lakes management committee signed a Deed of Easement with previous owners Mirador Developments back in 2013.  At that time the lakes were perilously short of water, so the outfall, which takes clean water from the neighbouring roofs, was seen as a permanent solution to the water problem. 

Health Walkers Visit

A group of health walkers took advantage of the spring-like weather to pay a visit to the lakes earlier today. 

Health walks are promoted by local doctor’s surgeries, in this case Mill Road Surgery, to improve adult’s mental and physical well-being health, so reducing the risk of developing serious illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. 

Although living locally, many of the group of a dozen or so, were not aware of the lakes and commented on its peaceful tranquillity. 

So popular was the visit that it will now form a regular destination for Walking for Health groups. 

If you would like to know more information, please click on


Big Clear Up Begins

The big clear up after Storm Doris has begun. 

With winds gusting over 60 mph, the conservation area took the brunt of the storm.    A dozen shallow rooted trees in the copse toppled over while the holly tree on the Mount also had to be cut back as it was blocking the path. 

Volunteers also took the opportunity to remove or trim some of the willows and sallows before removing the brash to the bonfire site. 

“It could have been worse” said trustee Ryan Westgarth.  “Thankfully none of the established trees were affected and the newly planted whips withstood the wind remarkably well.” 

The trustees will now be discussing with Poringland tree warden Henry Gowman about the possibility of replanting the area. 

Trees Stolen

A dozen or so young trees recently planted at the lakes have been uprooted and stolen.  

Wardens reported that the entire hedge along the lower mount section had been removed.  The incident has been reported to the local police who have promised to increase their visits especially during the hours of darkness.

In the meantime tree warden Peter Aspinall has offered to replace the trees with a small reserve stock he holds.

“The increased police patrols are very welcome” said Peter.  “If the police can’t trace the tree thieves, we may have to bring in Special Branch!”

If anyone has any information about the thefts, please contact Norfolk Police by telephoning 101 and quoting crime number 36/14047/17.

Influential Strategy Group Praises Lakes

Poringland Lakes came in for special praise at last night’s meeting of the influential Broads Angling Strategy Group (BASG) meeting at the Oakland Hotel.

Formed in May 2000, the BASG is a group of local anglers with a wide range of experience, who all share a special passion for fishing on the Broads.  BASG members volunteer their time and effort to work in partnership with the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority to help maintain, improve and develop angling within the Broads and safeguard fishing for the future.

One of the group’s principal objectives is to encourage newcomers to the sport and support young anglers.

BASG vice chairman Mark Casto explained the “outstanding recruitment initiative” going on at Poringland and praised volunteers for their commitment in recruiting and encouraging young anglers.

During the past six months, the community based lake has introduced over 60 local youngsters to the sport.  For more information about the excellent work being carried out by the BASG, visit www.basgonline.org

Lakes Singled Out in National Report  

Poringland Lakes has been singled out in an important and widely circulated report.  

Launching its annual report earlier today, the Angling Trust featured the work Poringland Lakes have been doing in recent months recruiting youngsters to the sport.  

Written by Angling Trust’s Head of Participation, Clive Copeland, the report states  “The ‘Let’s Go Family Fishing’ events at Poringland Lakes were well attended by many families.  All the sessions were fully booked and went down extremely well with the local community.

"The Angling Trust would like to thank all the organisers, coaches and volunteers at the fishery” the report concluded.  

The report also featured two photographs from Poringland Lakes.

 Association chairman John Overton was delighted with the news.

“Our team of volunteers have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort in running the Family Fishing Days, so it is great to see their hard work has been so publicly acknowledged by the sport’s governing body, The Angling Trust” said John. 

Lakes Hit the Headlines  

Poringland Lakes’s Family Fishing Fun Days have been highlighted in today’s Angling Times.  

Featured in the Angling Trust column under the headline ‘Norfolk Event Pulls in the Crowds’, the article heralds the success of the Family Fishing Days and praises the work of our tremendous band of helpers.  The copy is supplemented by a group photo.  

The 16th August edition of Angling Times is available from all good newsagents, price £1.99.  

Work Starts on Platforms

Work has started on building three fishing platforms in the Ray Noble lake.  

Until now, the trustees have stoutly discouraged the construction of platforms on the basis that it would spoil the natural aesthetic look of the lakes’ aprons.  

However sections of the smallest lake are virtually inaccessible to anglers because of the relatively steep banking, so the management team have agreed that three stations can be built.  

“Not only will it allow anglers to fish all round the lake but it will make things a lot safer” explained maintenance officer Ryan Westgarth.  

The platforms are constructed from surplus material from the neighbouring Mill Close development.  Redundant railway sleepers which formed part of the perimeter boundary have been cut to size and infilled with sandbags and top soil.  

The project is expected to be completed later this month.  

Website Celebrates 50,000 Visitors

Poringland Lakes website continues to attract more visitors than ever. 

Since the site was launched in May 2014 in conjunction with our principal partners Norfolk Homes, over 50,000 visits (52,077 at today’s count) have been made as scores of people log in every day to the website.  

“The website has proved an enormous success” said Association chairman John Overton.  

“The combination of conservation and fishing together with regular updates, has proved a winning formula.  Our thanks go to Norfolk Homes who have sponsored the website since day one.  Without their support and encouragement the website would simply not exist” added John. 

Memorial Bench Unveiled

A new memorial bench has been unveiled at Poringland Lakes.

Provided by the Norse Group with monies from the Landfill Communities Fund, the all-weather bench has been sited adjacent to the Glenn Duffield memorial lake.

Fittingly the first person to sit on the bench was Glenn’s sister Lynn who kindly provided a memorial plaque in Glenn’s memory.  The bench also features similar memorials to John Tooke and Steve Wakefield.  

The bench was installed by local contractors Morley Builders.  

A second bench, also compliments of the Norse Group, will be added soon, this time on the apron of the Dave Gudgeon lake. 

New Interpretation Board Installed

A new site information board has been installed at Poringland Lakes.

Funded by a grant from the Norse Group through the Landfill Communities Fund, the board charts the history of the site from the 1890s through to the present day.  It explains what can be seen throughout the year with a special section devoted to each of the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter.

"The interpretation board is a great addition to the site" said lakes' president Dave Gudgeon. "Now the casual visitor, which we are seeing in ever increasing numbers, can learn more about the site and the wonderful variety of wildlife living there" he added.

The board was designed and manufactured by market leaders Fitzpatrick Woolmer Design & Publishing of Kent.  Fittingly it is made from 100% recycled UK waste, is finished in authentic wood grain effect plastic, requires no maintenance and is completely rot proof.

The photographic content was supplied by leading Norfolk wildlife photographer Liz Dack.  Resident warden Peter Aspinall advised on the content.

New Logo Unveiled

Poringland Lakes has unveiled its new logo. 

Designed by well known local angler and professional graphic illustrator Henry Marshall-Nicholls, the artwork cleverly combines the lakes’ conservation and fishing ethos. 

The importance of community is reflected in the family group while the wildlife element is portrayed by the squirrel and rabbit in the foreground.  The silhouetted panorama is surmounted by an over-arching tree. 

“The new image is really striking” said lakes’ president Dave Gudgeon.  “It truly encapsulates what the lakes are all about – flora, fauna, families and fishing.  We’re really grateful to Henry for doing it.”