Covid changes intensify fishery war on litter

A DISGRUNTLED fishery owner has banned a group of anglers for life after they left litter, having promised to take it away.

Littering is an issue afflicting many fisheries, and there is some concern that Covid-19 regulations are making things worse.

However, as more fisheries have deployed booking systems in the past two weeks, it has been easier to identify culprits.

Mick Holdaway, who has owned Berkshire’s Pondwood Fisheries for 33 years, fumed: “We didn’t have much of a problem until we removed our litter bins because of the possible threat from coronavirus to those who have to move the rubbish.

“Instead, we merely requested that all anglers take their litter home with them, but sadly a number have refused to comply, leaving carrier bags and even black bin bags behind.

The usual litter-free scene at Pondwood.

Mick continued: “One group of youngsters in the 17-to-19-year-old age group left enough rubbish, accumulated over a two-night stay, to fill two large bin bags.

“That’s despite several times me mentioning to the lads about taking their rubbish with them, and they kept saying: ‘No problem.’

“Even worse than leaving rubbish on site, a few have been dumping it outside after they have just left the fishery.

“This is totally unacceptable behaviour, and looks bad, not only on our fishery, but on the angling community as a whole.

“I see lots of fisheries posting with the same problem. Is this really how you want to represent the sport?

“I am by no means blaming all anglers, but I’m sure we can all agree it is the small percentage that will end up ruining it for the rest.

“I would like to remind the small percentage that not only is this disrespectful, but also when disposing of your rubbish on the verges it becomes a criminal offence, and here at Pondwood we will be banning people for life, and reporting it to the local authorities, too.

“We have CCTV on our car parks and we are able to see who the culprits are. Our new booking system allows us to see who was fishing which peg, so please ensure your peg is litter-free when you leave.

“This sort of behaviour will not be tolerated at Pondwood, and anglers will be banned for life for litter. We will also make sure that every fishery in the area knows their name, for future reference,” Mick vowed.

Meanwhile, the Angling Trust have taken up the battle against litter – with anglers being encouraged to their bit in the new Take 5 Campaign.

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