Winsford Anglers testing the water

Winsford and District Angling Association have received free water testing kits from the United Utilities Better Rivers Fund. The fishing club plans to engage the help of members of the junior section to carry out the tests to help raise awareness and increase understanding of the issues affecting river water quality.

It’s all part of a UK wide scheme with the Angling Trust Water Quality Monitoring Network which harnesses the power of angling clubs and anglers to understand the quality of water across England and Wales, and to establish a solid foundation of data.

Young Development Team Coach, Gareth Evans explained, “We have 150 young anglers between the ages of 5 and 20 from Winsford, Northwich and Middlewich which makes us the second biggest junior section in the country. We’re also a fully inclusive club with two of our coaches experienced in working with children with special educational needs. Being out and about in the fresh air, means fishing has huge benefits for mental health.”

“Young people are much more aware of environmental issues than when we were growing up.  The plan for the kits is to get the kids involved in testing the water. They can see what’s going and how that affects the fishing and everything else. I think this is a brilliant thing for us to get the young people involved.”

Emma Birch, Stakeholder Engagement Manager for Cheshire at United Utilities said, “We are delighted to support Winsford Anglers with the Better Rivers Fund and to hear about the great work being done with children and young people.  

Bert Reid, Chairman said, ‘Our club fishes the Weaver and the Dane - both rivers are full of wildlife and fish, and we want to keep it that way. The work that we are doing now will hopefully improve things for the future.’

The Better Rivers Fund is a great idea. I’m just glad that United Utilities are prepared to invest in the rivers and in the volunteers that are involved. If more clubs throughout the country recruited more volunteers and engaged with the scheme, I’m quite sure we’d make an impact.”