The return of fishing brings exciting opportunities for local children in East Yorkshire

Fishing has returned to Burton Constable Holiday Park. Dedicated staff and 12 volunteers had spent around 60 hours removing a massive growth of lilies from the North Lake. These fishing enthusiasts’ hard work has made fishing at the park possible again for seasoned anglers, and has also sparked the idea to help underprivileged children in East Yorkshire learn to fish. 

Park Manager and former youth worker Lee Marshall came up with the idea for the holiday park to help children in the local area through fishing. The aim is to create a programme that will allow 500 children from schools in disadvantaged areas to learn a new skill, engage with nature, and take a break from screens. Lee has applied for Environment Agency and Angling Trust funding to make this idea a reality. 

Lee Marshall said: “Our lakes could offer so many opportunities. These children could be future fishers.”

In addition to this, Lee’s main focus has been the welfare of the fish and overall lake health. The lakes at Burton Constable Holiday Park have historically been an excellent home to wildlife, including numerous fish species, such as carp, pike, tench, bream, roach and perch. 

The lakes were designed by Capability Brown and created by William Constable in the 18th century. In cooperation with the Burton Constable Foundation, the holiday park commissioned Aqua Contractor to cut the lilies at the root to prevent them from covering the entire lake (allowing light penetration and increased biodiversity). Some lilies were left to offer fish protection from predators.

Removing lilies has made fishing possible again, as anglers can cast their line effectively. With the help of volunteers who have been emotionally and socially involved with Burton Constable Holiday Park for many years, stocking fish has begun. Once the current stock has been determined, the holiday park will look into adding new stock. 

Lee said: “Volunteers are out there all day fishing to see what is in the lake and if there is anything unexpected.”

Jack, one of the Constable family running the park alongside his mother, Rodrica, said: “We are delighted we have been able to carry out this work as part of our continuous care for the heritage and nature that surrounds us. In addition to this, we are excited by the plans to engage with the community and get young people fishing, and we look forward to the park being a fishing hotspot once again.” 

It is hoped that the holiday park will host competitions and family days where youngsters can be introduced to fishing.

Lee added: “We have received many questions from visitors, including fishermen, about the project to rejuvenate the lakes. We have enjoyed educating them on lake management. It is a case of learning all the way along and trying to bring people with you. It is an exciting time at the park for us, and we look forward to the next stage of the plan.”