Skipton Angling Association
Breaking down barriers between generations through the encouragement of true angling, and care of the environment.
Skipton Angling Association was set up nearly 110 years ago, angling was very much a ‘game sport’ which enabled participants to provide food for the table. Although a few anglers still take fish, the majority now take great pride in releasing their catch back in to the water after a quick photo opportunity. Angling has indeed changed with the times, with the modern angler taking on the role of ‘countryside custodians’ taking great care in to studying not only fish welfare but their complex habits, feeding patterns and how these are inextricably linked to environmental factors and other flora and fauna which share the similar habitats.
Today the club is run by an elected committee of 15 who actively promote this more modern style of angling, this is re-enforced by the vast majority of the association’s 117 members. We believe that angling not only helps develop knowledge and appreciation for our surroundings, but also has potential to install a sense of community cohesion and pride among its participants. In some part this is due to the events the club runs such as; riverside bank clearances, taster-days, free tuition, river safaris, fishing matches and litter picking work parties. The Club also believe angling can help strengthen family bonds between parent and child by offering shared interests.
The Club is forward thinking and its members are aware that the future progression of angling, in some part, lies with in the hands of the next generation, and having a younger cohort willing to bring passion and enthusiasm to volunteering for the Committee and activities.
Over recent years, the majority of youngsters have gravitated towards games consoles, computers and tablets and time spent outside is spent on other pursuits such as skate parks, this offers less opportunity inter-generational pastimes. It is this younger generation that we attempt to engage with our taster-days and provide the opportunity for them to learn the joys of angling at the same time developing new skills and a love for their environment.
We truly believe that with your help we can make a positive impact. Previous feedback from local community leaders such as the Town Mayor, Martin Emmerson, parents, teachers and local police further support and encourage our beliefs. We hope you can share in our vision and help us to achieve our goals.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
If successful, any funds offered would go directly towards stocking new species of native coarse fish in to Whinny Gill reservoir, Skipton, that are currently absent from the water. The aim behind this is to increase both numbers of fish and species diversity with the intention of offering a more sustainable, natural style fishery and the hope that when young adults attend our taster-days (which are proving to be increasingly popular) there is a greater chance of them catching that all important first fish rather than going home, having not caught. We believe this to be a key aspect behind retaining youngsters’ interests and developing an appetite for angling and its associated benefits of quiet contemplation and companiable silence, often missing from today’s pastimes.
Historically, the venue had previously been stocked with trout (a game fish), offering a ‘put and take’ style fishery which goes against the ethos of what the association are attempting to achieve at Whinny Gill. Increasing the stock of coarse fish will ensure we are able to offer these events for years to come, due to some species of coarse fish having a life expectancy exceeding forty years. Not only this but the potential for coarse fish to breed (unlike the previously sterile game fish), means any stocking could effectively be self-perpetuating, ensuring angling on the water could be appreciated by not only the children attending our events, but their children and their grandchildren.
The number of people who could potentially benefit both directly and indirectly from such action is vast. Directly through the joys of angling and indirectly by learning and becoming confident in a skill that can be passed on from grandparents and parents. There has been a resurgence in pastimes that fell out of favour for a while. For example baking, knitting and sewing, have all become popular and are bridging the gap between generations either through clubs or being taught by family. This has created a greater feeling of community togetherness and opens up opportunities meetings that may lesson feelings of isolation.
However these pastimes are not so appealing to a young person who likes to spend time outside, and by their nature at the moment tend to be passed on by women. This should change in the future as many young men now like to get involved with this and will be able to pass their skill onto future generations. In a similar way the club want to promote a resurgence of angling for young people so that this skill which has historically been a male pursuit can be passed on to all young people, and create opportunities for interaction between generations. The hope being that this will lessen feelings of loneliness and fear from older generation to younger generation, and may increase respect between both older and younger generation.
"Skipton Angling Association are breaking down barriers between generations by hosting angling taster-days. Experienced anglers give their time freely in order to engender a love of fishing in the younger generation whilst at the same time explaining about how to care for the environment. It is hoped that these activities will create mutual respect between the generations and foster a sense of community around fishing. (Graeme Waterfall)"