Ryders Mere fishery plan withdrawn

Spotted a couple of days ago on Chaz Mason’s excellent Clayhanger Marsh Log, and from a comment this morning by reader Tim, it seams the application to convert peaceful wildlife haven Ryders Mere into a commercial fishing venue has been withdrawn by owners, Parkhill Estates. Chaz is quite correct, this is not a time to rest on our laurels, I suspect modified or different plans may be in the pipeline. It is, however a relief: I have nothing against responsible anglers, but there are plenty of venues already existing for them locally and it would be nice to keep this place safe for the wildlife that thrives upon it.

Thanks to all concerned.

Chas had this to say:

I today received a formal notification from Planning Services at Walsall MBC that the Planning application for the development of formal fishing facilities, car park and small-holding at Ryders Mere has been WITHDRAWN.

This is great news and those who lodged an objection should be proud of themselves as it obviously had some influence and may have caused the applicants to pause and re-think their plans. But do not consider this to be a victory! It is merely a temporary cessation of hostilities as there will be other applications and it is not enough to oppose these because we don’t like change, we need to have a strong case and next time to be ready to fight any unsuitable applications rather than just be in a position to react when the danger arises.

The first step will be to get some formal protection for the site and this is what those who care should now be doing. A letter to your councilor copied to your MP will put the issue on a political agenda and may help to engage systems that we as simple residents may not be able to influence. I think that it is inevitable that some compromises will eventually have to be made but I stand by my opinion that developing a fishing site at Ryders Mere would adversely effect both our wintering birds and breeding birds and is a use that is essentially unnecessary given the large number of natural fishing facilities that are available in the local area.

Anyway, well done to all – Chaz

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13 Responses to Ryders Mere fishery plan withdrawn

  1. warren parry says:

    Its a shame, as this venue would make a fantastic carp pool.
    The influx of anglers would bring income and jobs into the area.
    I would imagine that the surrounding area of old slag heaps winter marshes and overflowing ditches might well be improved as part of any permission.

    On the other hand, i do enjoy walking my dogs around there and have taken some nice photos of the bird life. May be a compromise can be reached, but i some how think such polarised parties will not be able to meet in the middle.

    Either way i will still enjoy visiting the area and enjoying what it has to offer.

    • steve webb says:

      carp are vermin an in Australia it is an offence to return one , they are turned into fertilizer called Charlie carp . there are too many carp waters , taking over our native species notably the tench , roach an bream . if anything be stocked should be natural native species .

  2. Hi Warren

    There are plenty of fantastic carp pools elsewhere, and the economic impact would be so tiny as to be insignificant. Sorry, that doesn’t wash.

    The whole point is that the marshes, old slag heaps and ditches don’t need improving; they are part of a Site of Special Scientific Interest because, as they are, they are a unique habitat hosting a great degree of biodiversity and some very rare species.

    With angling on the pool would come disturbance to birds, fauna and bait would destroy the hydroecology of the lake. Fishing commercially is not low impact. More timid species will simply not return once disturbed.

    There is no need for compromise, as there is no need to open this lake up. There are plenty of alternatives, while there are a receding number of untouched lakes like this reserved for wildlife.

    If you’re a regular over there, go read Chaz’s blog; the stuff he spots there is incredible.

    I wish you luck with your hobby, but I just don’t think there’s any need for it there.

    Best wishes


    • steve webb says:

      totally agree bob , an im an angler myself . already too many carp pools about . the facts carp out compete other species indigenous to this country ,our native tench ,roach and bream . too many carp growing quite large will eat the weed , causing the water to be murky , too many fish causes disease outbreaks , an the disappearance of weed we affect water quality an fish spawning areas I say a big no to an introduced species the carp not at all native to our country . as iv said in Australia an America there classed as vermin an a offence to return them. there used as fertilizer sold in supermarkets , called Charlie carp fertilizer .

  3. warren parry says:

    Hi Bob, thanks for your reply.
    i do find it incredible how people are so opposed to changes like this.
    if you were living in that area in the mid 19th century, im sure you would have been opposed to the mining that destroyed the landscape. now look what nature has provided us with c’est la vie..

  4. Andy Dennis says:

    I think if I had been one of the few people scratching a living here in the mid 19th century I would have been desperate for any type of employment and would have welcomed the mining – the landscape would not have kept my children from starving or freezing to death. Indeed, most people are here precisely because their ancestors came to the area to work at the pit or something related. Clayhanger Marsh is very old, recorded at least as far back as medieval times, and pre-dates large scale mining in the area.

    On the other point, we won’t know why the application was withdrawn, but often this is to avoid the Council refusing permission (perhaps within the target timescale), which would limit the applicant’s options.

    One problem is that we have a private enterprise looking after a public good and that needs resolving. Some sort of statutory protection is an obvious step, but I’m not expert enough to know whether the mere meets the relavant criteria. However, it appears there are people tuned to the local blogosphere who could take a lead; any takers?

  5. Dave says:

    Im a fisherman , but so glad this as been withdrawn, (love my birdy wildlife) like bob says there are lots of fisheries in the area, lichfield alone as two that i know.


  6. warren parry says:

    Dave, Lichfield must have a half dozen fisheries!
    there are at least 10 fisheries closer than Lichfield any way.
    Do you like cormorants?

  7. Dave says:

    warren lol ,, yeah your prob right on the fisheries ,,ive not fished for about 12 years, fished solely for carp back then , not many fisheries about then. just started again on the pole this time for a change & enjoying it. always take me binoculars for the wildlife.

    cormorants r ok !


  8. Cormorants? Couldn’t eat a whole one.

    Seriously though, I’ve seen this before – what is it with some anglers? Cormorants, goosanders, herons and the like are part of the ecosystem, all of which is essential.

    We can’t just expel the inconvenient bits because they eat fish – and that’s exactly why the Mere should be left to wildlife.

    Best wishes


  9. warren parry says:

    Bob, the Cormorants that have now begun to prosper on inland waters, have done so (to some degree) because of the free and easy offerings provided by commercial fisheries.
    There numbers have steadily gone through the roof compared to 30 years ago. This seams to run concurent with the rise of the overstocked fisheries.
    i personaly hate fishing in Carp puddles, but i do like fishing the rivers, canals and streams on offer to us. it has been noted and aknowledge by some members of the enviroment agency that some of our most beautiful rivers are being decimated of their silver fish by cormorants.
    As for Herons, i dont think many anglers object to seeing them standing in all their glory at the waters edge. they have always been in our waters and hopefuly always will.


  10. Hi Warren.

    So what you’re actually saying is that fishing has created an unnatural environment where there’s a ready supply of food for Cormorants, who prosper.

    That’s how the ecosystem works. They won’t ‘decimate’ rivers as populations are related by the nature of predate and predator; if the food dries up, so the cormorant population will drop. Simple.

    However, if they truly bother you, seems like a good argument for regulating and not adding to the number of commercial fisheries to me…

    I personally have seen anglers throwing stuff at herons on the canal on more than one occasion. Shame there’s such a mindless minority about.

    Best wishes


  11. warren parry says:

    Bob, i am surprised any angler could get close enough to throw anything at an Heron, they are such shy and timid birds.
    anyway i will have to defer to your better knowledge on that.

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