Over the last couple of months there has been quite a lot of coverage in the Angling Press relating to the Governments plans to construct a high speed rail link from London to Birmingham and then later to parts of Europe, this project is called HS2.
The planned route for this link has been very carefully planned to cause as little disruption as possible to already built up areas i.e. housing estates, villages and towns, in other words a nice scenic ride through the countryside, the first part of this being the SSSI and English Nature controlled Colne Valley! This totally unnecessary (why do we need trains that travel at 250 m.p.h.) 70 yard wide, 140 mile long monstrosity is being built mainly for political kudos and to create employment and no doubt just like several other major political projects of recent years it will soon finish up running many millions of pounds over budget .
Sadly for those of us that fish in the Colne Valley many waters in the area will be affected, some of these waters are very significant in the Angling World, perhaps the most significant being the legendry Savay Lake and if you haven’t read Tom Bankes, Savay’s owner, compelling and passionate recently published piece then I suggest you do (just google Save Savay Lake).
However Savay is not the only water which will be impacted by this project, just across the road from Savay and nestling between Savay and the equally well known Harefield Lake lies the British Carp Study Group’s Korda Lake and just like Savay the plan is to run a seventy yard wide viaduct right across the widest part of the lake, in effect completely wiping the place out.
Now Korda Lake has for many years been pretty low profile regarding its stock and its catches and apart from the B.C.S.G. members little is known about the place. It is around 15 acres and sort of bell shaped, the topography is similar to many gravel pits with bars, islands, deep holes etc. Korda does not hold the kind of carp stock found in Savay or to be fair many other Colne Valley pits but it does have a fair head of thirties, quite a few being upper thirties and it has produced three different forties. The lease on Korda was secured for B.C.S.G. members in 1998 after some sterling work by such B.C.S.G. stalwarts as Jim Hindle, Don Hopper and former Chairman Ken Dallow and a syndicate from within the Group was soon formed. Currently the lake is managed by our Fisheries Team which is headed up by Rob Woollard and the lakes head bailiff is Dougal Gray. Prior to the B.C.S.G taking control Korda was run as a Day Ticket Fishery and was fished by such luminaries as Andy Little and Danny Fairbrass, I think Danny actually named his Company Korda Developments after fishing the Lake.
Since the B.C.S.G. took the running of the fishery over only one stocking of carp has taken place, in1999 thirty Fishers Pond fish between 5 and 8lbs were introduced to the lake. Despite the fact that Korda holds no monster carp nor does it have the very high average weights of lakes in the area such is the appeal of the place that our syndicate list reads like a who’s who of carp fishing and I doubt if there is another syndicate with the number of well known names as Korda , add to that a waiting list of over 70 shows what a special water Korda is.
Ironically although Korda is under the control of a carp group and most of our members tend to fish it for the carp it is probably one of the best Tench waters in the country, some would say the best Tench water in the country. Every year see’s a huge number of double figure specimen’s coming to the rods of the handful of anglers that specifically set out their stall to catch them plus quite a few are caught by those who are trying to catch the carp. Although I used the term “double figure” Tench and that tends to infer 10lb fish, what I would say is that a high percentage of the Tench caught are in the 11 and 12 lb category we even have a couple of 10lb males.
To just sit back and allow such an amazing stock of big Tench plus our Carp to be covered in dust, dirt and waste is not an option for us, we have to do something to protect these magnificent creatures. The B.C.S.G. has always been a non political organisation and whether or if getting involved in campaigns, protests, lobbying etc is seen as political well, so be it.
We would encourage all caring anglers to support the various campaigns currently springing up in and around the Colne Valley. Please remember there are many waters affected not just Savay and ours and be aware as this project progresses more and more fisheries will be affected, just check out the current planned route. Also bare in mind that eventually it is planned to extend these trains into Europe therefore even Kent will be affected.
Hopefully at some stage The Angling Trust will become involved and co-ordinate the growing concern of both individual anglers and angling organisations (be they clubs, syndicates or associations), over to you Mike?
B.C.S.G. Chairman on behalf of the B.C.S.G. Membership and Committee