Anglers in South Cumbria are celebrating the ultimate catch after clinching £20,000 for a far-reaching fisheries project.

Windermere and District Angling Association - which was established over half a century ago - has hooked a Lake District National Park Authority Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) payout.

An initiative to increase fisheries and the number of anglers, improve biodiversity and the aquatic environment and boost angling tourism found instant favour from the SDF panel.

SDF administrator Clive Wickham said with over 1,000 existing members and 5,000 visitors predicted over the next 12 months, the angling organisation was investing £28,000 of its own money into its fisheries development enterprise.
He said: “We were very impressed by the strength of membership, which highlights the importance angling has for the area. It is one of the country's most popular recreational activities.”

Backed by the Department of the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, the Lake District fund currently has £170,000 in its coffers, ready to turn green dreams into reality.

Applications are currently sought from individuals and organisations with pioneering plans up their sleeves which are going to help communities and the environment.
Clive explained: “We are always open to suggestions for projects with a strong sustainable theme and look forward to hearing from organisations, communities and individuals to discuss their ideas.”

Other successful grants included £500 towards an eco-conference for schools to be held at Cockermouth on 29 June and £1,000 for a roadshow highlighting village housing and regeneration in the Lake District.

“These two schemes are good illustrations of projects with sustainability at their heart,” added Clive.

“The eco-conference aims to raise awareness of environmental dangers for 16 to 19 year-olds, while Ulverston-based Holmeground Productions wants to help communities across Cumbria identify the best approach to housing.”

In the past, SDF has brought cash windfalls to villagers wanting to buy their Hesket Newmarket pub, provided solar power for Coniston's launches, a hydro electric scheme for Derwentwater Youth Hostel and a horse-drawn timber harvester.

Anyone wanting more information should contact Clive Wickham on 01539 792661.