Wingham Otter Fence

NEWS FROM WINGHAM CARP FISHERIES

We're pleased to announce that both the lakes at Wingham are now protected by otter fences.

With the 15 acre Carp Lake containing 7x50lb+ English carp, and the younger 40 acre Main Lake already containing 2 50lbers up to 56-14, it was essential to act before otters arrived in this area.

Because the lakes are divided by a stream they've had to be fenced individually.  This has meant that the total length of the fencing is over 3 1/2 kilometres (2 1/4 miles), making it possibly the biggest project of its kind in the country.

The fencing is to an extremely high specification, including heavy duty metal posts for extra long life.  Additionally, with both lakes being mature gravel pits with extremely varied terrain there many technical problems to overcome during construction.  Whilst members have helped where they could, this has meant that much of the work has had to have been done by professionals.

All of this has made it extremely expensive and so we're thankful to have a grant from the Angling Improvement Fund.  This fund is administered by the Angling Trust on behalf of the Environment Agency, with the money coming from fishing licence sales.  For a project of this size it's only a proportion of the total cost but still very welcome.

Steve Burke, who started Wingham from scratch, commented, "It's only a matter of time before otters arrive everywhere, and with the size of the lakes and the terrain we couldn't have put up fencing quickly.  In the meantime we could have lost some historic fish.  It was therefore essential to act before otters returned to this area of Kent.

Having spent over 20 years creating something beyond my wildest dreams I couldn't stand by and allow it to be destroyed in perhaps as many weeks.  It's been a massive cost, but having already sacrificed so much in the past it was clearly the right thing to do to protect Wingham for future generations."

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