This is the first work party we have held at Shopham for a couple of seasons, there were five of us including a couple of the guys who had travelled from Ringwood to help out.
After a quick briefing everyone was set a task and we worked our way through the list.
Downstream on the north bank we cut back the brambles away from the waters edge and made the path wider to allow easier access to the swims further along.
On the South bank downstream, I wanted to open it up like it used to be we strimmed back a path and created three new spots to fish. We also cleared up the willows next to the bridge and removed some which we going into the water.
Further down we fixed the fence which was broken where anglers had been climbing over to fish the beginning of the riffles. In the riffle area we opened up the two swims which had got very over grown and then on the bend we dug a step to make netting fish a little bit easier as it’s a very high bank.
Upstream we made a new step to the stile from the road to make it more accessible, at a later date I will drop in a step on the other side as its quite a steep drop.
We then ventured around down the old railway track to look at the big bend next to the fish refuge area, every year these willows grow further and further over, we were quite shocked how far the bank went back, we realised it was a bigger job than anticipated we removed a large snag and cleared what we could. Then it was getting near to mid-day so we headed back to the cars.
A big thank you to Chris Wright, Phil Averell, and the two new members from Ringwood Chris Norwood and Alan Oliver for turning up and helping out, I’m planning another work party here for a few weeks’ time when I will hopefully have a boat to tackle the willows on the bend so keep your eyes peeled for a date.
Steve Gray – Shopham Bailiff