Children from two special needs schools in Lincoln enjoyed a “have a go” fishing day at Fen Lake Fisheries, Metheringham, on Friday, 28th September.

The excited youngsters from Sincil School and Queens Park School were taught fishing techniques under the watchful eyes of trained coaches from the British Disabled Angling Association, before a well-earned rest and a picnic lunch. Experts from the Environment Agency were also on hand to tell the children about their local lakes and rivers, and the wildlife that can be found in them.

The fishing day was part of a series of events organised by the REEL (Recreation and Environmental Enhancements in Lincolnshire) project since its creation in 2004. With funding from the Environment Agency, Lincolnshire County Council and the European Regional Development Fund, REEL has already hosted four successful fishing events in the county and has provided free fishing equipment to the after school fishing club at Sincil School, a new emotional and behavioural disorder school in Lincoln. On the day three children who attend Sincil School’s fishing club acted as ‘peer coaches’ for the other children and were praised for their coaching skills by the professional coaches from the BDAA.

The REEL project also provided the six fishing platforms used at the Fen Lake Fisheries site, providing better access for the event and for wheelchair users in the future. In return, Fen Lake Fisheries will give back nearly 500 sessions of free fishing to local worthy causes.

Led by the Environment Agency, the project has made £500,000 of improvements for fishing and quiet recreation around Lincoln and Boston.

Amanda Jenkins, REEL project officer for the Environment Agency said: ‘Fishing events like this one are a great way to get young people to engage with the countryside and learn about the creatures in it. They are taught the correct way to handle the fish that they catch and we can chat to them about wildlife and their local waterways. 

‘It’s a really enjoyable day for everyone, and it’s great to hear the children swapping stories about their catches at the end of the session.’