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Fishing Syndicate Install Fence at Radley Lakes

In recent years otters have been more regularly recorded in the lakes at Radley, and the Earth Trust is working hard to create and maintain suitable habitats for them. We manage Thrupp Lake positively for wildlife, including otters, whilst neighbouring Bullfield Lake is managed for fishing by Bullfield Fishing Syndicate.

The increase in sightings is undoubtedly good news for the otter, but the fishing syndicate see this as less good news for the carp living in Bullfield Lake. The lake was stocked with fish by members of the group during the 1970s and has attracted anglers ever since. Last winter the syndicate had their first record of a carp being lost to an otter, and other fish showed signs of attack.

Garth Ethelston, a member of Bullfield Lake Fishing Syndicate, explains why the carp are so important to the group: “I’m sure that if you visit the lakes, you’ll have been struck by these greyish-blue fish cruising around on a hot day; some of them are over 40 years old. It’s heartbreaking for us to lose such fascinating creatures to the otters when they come to hunt during the winter. If a mother is teaching her cubs to fish then many carp could be killed or injured in a matter of weeks.”

Members of the syndicate felt they only had one option to protect the carp, which was to install fencing. The fence is purely designed to prevent otters from entering Bullfield Lake and should not harm them, or any other wildlife.

“Whilst the fence will prevent the otters entering Bullfield Lake, they will still be able to access adjacent Thrupp Lake. We’ll continue to carry out habitat improvements here to ensure the otters have a safe haven in the area,” said Lorretta Waters, Neighbourhood Wildlife Warden at the Earth Trust.

The syndicate’s members are funding the project themselves, and are carrying out all the work. They’ve attempted to minimise the visual impact of the fence, and have taken it well away from the paths where possible. They’ll continue to plant sympathetically in the area and expect it to mature into the landscape over time.

“We hope that users of the site can understand and respect the reasons behind our protective measures, and that it shows that the diverse interests and activities at Radley Lakes can all continue to work alongside each other,” concluded Garth.

If you have any questions or would like any more information please contact Lorretta: 01865 407792.

26th January 2015