Closed until late February?
Cherry Lakes designated as a SSSI
I am really not complaining but I am bored and clearly driving my missus (Judith) nuts, so I thought I should give you an update on what's going on here.
I know I should have done this before, but despite being bored I am quite depressed about the fishery business and suffering from a bit of lethargy. A strange paradox I know!
We are closed due to the Government's ban on travel, on night fishing and not being allowed to stay away from home. Despite all these restrictions I am getting plenty of calls about people wanting to come 'this weekend'!
Our working assumption is that we will all be in lockdown until late February. We have cancelled or put on notice everybody who has paid a deposit for holidays up to 22 February. The vast majority of our guests have moved their deposits to bookings either later this year or next year. This is our preferred approach because we maintain contact with these guests as well as spread the cash flow strain.
We have also contacted everyone due to visit up to the 22 March, saying that we hope to be open (if we return to the tiered approach) and what will happen if we are not.
For prospective visitors who want to come in both February and March, we are prepared to reserve Lodges but will not physically be taking any deposit/balance payments until we are confident we can open.
The Pike fishing has been going well and fortunately I have not had to venture too far! Biggest is 19lb so far. My non-fishing son Richard (who has been living at home for the last 3 months and in my 'bubble') has even had a few including this 14lb Pike. So far I have found the 11.30-14.30 period of the day to be most productive. The fact this coincides with the three warmest (in relative terms!) and brightest hours of the day, is obviously excellent watercraft skills on my part!
With the weather starting to warm up a little, with the lakes now all ice free, it will not be too long before we need to start trickling in some feed. Normally at this time of the year, I simply rely on our angling guests to do this. The tricky thing is to ensure we do not over-feed with the Carp not eating the food. I guess I might even need to get my own carp rods out just to be sure! Just to remind you of what we are all missing I have re-run a couple of photos from last winter.
The other news is that Natural England are in the process of extending SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) around the Cotswold Water Park, and this will include Cherry Lakes. We do have some fantastic birdlife in the area, much of which is directly linked to the water but not exclusively. For example this week I have seen my first Fieldfare at Cherry Lakes, pictured in the lead photo above.. Probably the result of cold northerly winds for a few weeks.
As an existing fishery owner this is something we welcome as it recognises the special nature of the local area. I am assured that this should not prove to be too restrictive for us as we look to continue to sympathetically manage Cherry Lakes into the future. Time will tell!