I have always thought that it is a good thing to save the best to last, which is why the main work party at Padworth is always the final one on the calendar. The reason for this being the help I have always been given by members of Thatcham Angling Association.
From the moment we arrive, to the moment we finish, there is always plenty of good humour and the odd bit of banter. But the important thing is, whatever I ask the volunteers to do, it is always done with a smile on their faces. This year was obviously going to be slightly different, because of the social distancing guidelines being in place, but it was still a most enjoyable and rewarding day.
We managed to finish the creation of the two designated bank fishing areas for the fly angler, as well as preparing all of the secluded swims for the coarse anglers. As you can see from the photos below, a lot of work was done in the river. This included pruning overhanging vegetation, which would otherwise have deemed certain swims unfishable. The very last swim on the fishery was given a complete makeover from in the river, and afterwards we all agreed that it would probably be one the best swims to fish in the future.
One highlight for all of us was, the licenced Crayfish Trapper we use on our fishery, arrived to empty his baskets. He said that last year he trapped and removed 19 – 20,000 from our fishery, which although is a staggering amount, means the crayfish numbers would have been greatly reduced.
This is the paragraph I will use to try and entice some more CALPAC members to volunteer on work parties in the future. The first incentive for you, is that you will receive a £10 discount on your membership. The second incentive being that either myself or my partner Liz always bake cakes for the volunteers to enjoy on the day along with the proverbial cup of tea or coffee. For this reason alone, some of the new Thatcham AA volunteers on Saturday, said they would definitely be coming along again next year!!