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Fishing fun for Ribble Valley schools

Two Ribble Valley schools are taking part in specially designed ‘Introduction to Fishing’ sessions with the Ribble Rivers Trust.

St Mary’s, Chipping and Brennand’s Endowed, Slaidburn will take part in the sessions, which begin on Bashall Brook, near Waddington, before moving on to fish the Rivers Hodder and Ribble.

Planned and part funded by the Hodder Consultative, an organisation made up of representatives from all the fishing clubs that fish the River Hodder, each session has been designed to incorporate the basics of fishing. Alongside these sporting skills pupils will also taught about water safety, wildlife, and conservation.

The need for such a project was first realised by the Hodder Consultative who, some time ago, realised that membership numbers in their fishing clubs were dropping, so decided to promote angling to younger people and recruit younger members. Taking a pro-active approach, they decided to enter into partnership with Ribble Rivers Trust, who have a proven track record of recruiting young people into fishing.

Utilising an existing activity ‘Trout in the Classroom’ that involves school children rearing Trout from eggs to fry in their classroom before releasing them into their local river, the children were enthused to get more involved with their local rivers. It is hoped that some of the children, and possibly parents as well, will go onto develop as anglers and join local angling clubs.

Ribble Rivers Trust work with many fishing clubs throughout their catchment as, amongst other things, anglers often act as first responders to any issues with the rivers and report any issues that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

In addition to the fishing on the day, the children will take part in, brash bundling, a practical river restoration activity. Brash bundling involves repairing eroded riverbanks with natural materials that encourage bank side vegetation to propagate and protect the banking from further erosion.

Neil Ashworth, Education Officer and lead Angling Coach, states
“It’s great to see angling clubs engaging with younger people to promote the wonderful sport of fishing. More than ever, during this terrible pandemic, the benefits to people of going into the countryside, near to running water, observing wildlife close up and becoming absorbed in a challenge with wild creatures has never been so well documented. I look forward to working with the Hodder Consultative and the local schools”.