How young people can get hooked on fishing

A new fishing project in the Eden Valley will give young people the chance to get hooked on fishing.

Borderlines, a non-profit making business, was set up by Chris Bowman, Glyn Freeman and Clive Mitchelhill in July 2005.  It aims are to teach young people how to fish while introducing them to the freshwater environment and all its wildlife.  It has now been able to purchase a whole range of new equipment thanks to funding from Eden Rivers Trust as part of the Discover Eden Heritage Lottery Funded project.

Chris Bowman, Borderlines Company secretary and angling instructor, said, “We do not just teach young people how to fish, we introduce them to the environment and try to instil a respect for and a caring attitude towards that environment.  Thanks to the assistance given by the Eden Rivers Trust, as part of their Discover Eden Heritage Lottery Funded project, we have been able to purchase new equipment and improve our services to schools, youth groups and other organisations within the community.  This will give more young people the opportunity to gain an introduction to a healthy, enjoyable hobby which gets them out into the countryside.”

“The marvellous thing about fishing, “ says Chris Bowman, “is that you don't have to be academically or sportingly gifted to take part.  Anyone can succeed and with that success comes an improvement in self-confidence and self-esteem. Anyone can catch fish and go home feeling good and it is that feel good factor, that sense of achievement, that is so important.”

“You might argue that this could be true of any sport. I would argue that in what other sport could a relative novice, a youngster with the most basic of equipment break a national record; this has happened within angling. We at Borderlines are not so naive to think that angling is some sort of panacea, a cure for all ills, but we have witnessed the significant individual and social benefits that participation in angling can bring to so many people over many years.  Thanks to the Eden Rivers Trust and the Environment Agency who are sponsoring the Appleby event we can make those benefits available to more people.”

A launch of this exciting new project is to be held on Appleby Angling Association's Holme Farm stretch of the River Eden at Appleby on Tuesday 7 August 2007 from 10am to 3pm. It will involve children from Appleby area being taught how to fish on the beautiful River Eden.  

This particular event involves the Appleby Anglers Association and is funded by the Environment Agency.  Martin Bell from Appleby Anglers said, “We are very grateful to the members of Borderlines and for the financial assistance from Environment Agency.  This is a great opportunity for our junior members not only to learn the art of fly fishing but all aspects of river life in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere.  Junior members are the life blood to fishing clubs and associations and must be encouraged.”

Glyn Vaughan, acting Environment Agency Manager for Cumbria, said: “The Environment Agency is investing in the future of fishing in Cumbria by supporting organisations such as Borderlines.   I hope many young people will come to these events and learn more about angling and get hooked on this great sport.”

Borderlines will be running a programme of one day events in the Eden Valley each year.  These will be based at different locations on the River Eden and its tributaries, as well as at Talkin Tarn, Brampton.  Individuals or groups can book onto the planned events, or customised events can also be organised.

The fishing days will introduce the freshwater environment and its animal and plant life.  It will cover the geography of the area and explain the ecology of lakes and rivers.  It will teach young people about the fish themselves and how to catch them.  Other activities will include dipping to find invertebrates, while  explaining how invertebrates provide food for other animals.

An important part of the day will cover safety whilst fishing and introduce the countryside code.  The issue of how man can spoil the environment through pollution, fly tipping and leaving litter will also be covered.  The overall aim is to instil a caring attitude and a respect for the enviroment.

For more information about Borderlines, please contact Chris Bowman (, Borderlines, Carlisle, Tel: 01228 674519, or Joanne Backshall (, Eden Rivers Trust, Penrith, Tel: 01768 866788.

Borderlines teaching young people how to fish at Lanercost Bridge, Brampton.