One month left before the start of the new season, and once again the weather and winter floods have played havoc with the close season maintenance programme. The committee is hoping to get back on schedule before opening day, but it looks as if the bank and channel improvements on the County School beat will be best carried out when the weather is better.
The County School beat will see a lot of improvement work this year, particularly along the true right hand bank (looking downstream) which has been extensively damaged by grazing cattle and badly undercut and over-deepened in places. This work should significantly improve the habitat value for small fish, crustaceans and other small creatures by creating shelter and areas of increased flow.
The club has installed a new secure gate and barbed wire fencing by the car parking area at Yarrow Bridge. The area has been increasingly used by trespassing boaters, and occasional poachers over the last two seasons. Only BMTF members and day ticket holders have permission to fish this stretch of the river and there is no statutory right to launch boats, regardless of what some paddlers choose to believe.
Specific permission from the landowner(s) is required to launch boats at any point on the river, and our riparian owners have made it plain that they do not want boats on their property.
Club signs pointing this out have been torn down by boaters and so-called ‘wild’ swimmers and any member witnessing such vandalism should immediately collect registration numbers and call the police.