There has been a right mixture of noises emulating from Dunwear Ponds on and of over the past 18 months, in the form of banging, bashing, clattering, hammering , sawing and grunting. These sounds of human endeavour come from a feisty band of fishing diehards who it seems have the insight and determination to bring these ponds that are etched in the very foundation of the Bridgwater Angling association a major make over and to pull them in to the 21st century. Inertia has been dispersed and a get up and go attitude now permeates through the echelons of the Bridgwater club. This band of the type of new broom sweeps clean merchants has recognized the fact that Dunwear ponds as a fishing venue was in decline a mish mash of over grown swims and busted pallets, dog mess and litter and the odd used hypodermic. Having a public right away which cuts through the ponds from Sedgemoor Road to Dunwear Lane attracts a problem of social misuse. The lets plonk ourselves down at the waters edge and get pissed brigade who in their own minds thinks it’s okay to take over swims and spoil it for the rest seemed to have made the place there own. In terms of the average angler spending a pleasant days fishing and not worrying about ones safety had became the stuff of the once was. Dunwear had become a basket case. large areas of the fishery took on the air of redundancy. A place of times past.
So without pulling rabbits out of hats, common sense has prevailed and a simple solution has been implemented to stop the undesirables, that section of society who delve into the art of leaving litter beer cans and used needles. This little group has now been thwarted by…. well they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
These gates do not cure the problem of public access entirely as some swims are still accessible owing to the problem of the public right of way. But never or less this is a start. And a very good start it is to.
The erecting of gates and fences are not the only things that has been going on at the Dunwear complex. The renewal of pallets have been taking place. Now I know that the Carpers of Dunwear has given names to the most popular swims and pallets such as slopey, killer, pylon and a few others to boot. But not being a member of the Dunwear Carping fraternity I haven’t the foggiest what the names of the two pallets that are on big pit and that you get to from the back of north pond. Well names aside these two platforms has also been replaced by the gang and a mighty fine job they have done to. Not the easiest of things to construct but never or less this noticeable achievement should not go amiss.
Another great example of the work being done at the Dunwear complex is the railway pit. This quaint little pond had through many years of neglect evolved in to a semi quasi nature reserve. This was the location of where many a youngster of the Sydenham Comprehensive school (pre early eighties) served his fishing apprenticeship. It was an easy lake to fish, and was a good water to fish in winter. All parts of the pond was accessible There was three good size swims on the far side i.e. the railway bank. But over the ravages of time and complimented by the encroachment of nature these swims became inaccessible and abandoned and later they just became fond memories. But a jolly band of volunteers have took hold of the situation and armed with spades, shears, chainsaws and a mini digger gave the good old railway pit a major sorting out. The effort has paid of and once again the far bank is now usable.
However at the time of writing the pond is still closed. This pond however had became the victim over the last few years with the dreaded water primrose, the aquatic equivalent to Covid 19. This beastly water plant which took root at the Sedgemoor road end is classed as an invasive species. This heinous bio mass has the ability to form a very dense almost impenetrable mat and once taken hold has the wicked ability to deplete the oxygen levels in the affected water.
It further releases chemicals that suppresses other organisms leading to a build up of toxins and the poisoning of the water itself. This demon of water is also classed as a economic pest as its growth can impede waterways, drainage systems, and cause flooding. So you can see that there was as you might call a bit of a problem. But owing to contractors being called in the situation has been eradicated. So one can say Railway pond has been through the mill in recent years but the light is at the end of the tunnel it seems.
Things in angling terms these days are up in the air. The third lock down has caused a bit of surprise and confusion. First of all on the announcement of a 3rd lock down it was thought that angling would be permitted by the government. But the government being the government at first said no. Even the non anglers at my place of work were surprised at the decision. But owing to the intervention of the voice of angling the Angling Trust (I am a member and I urged every angler to join https://anglingtrust.net/ ) Boris and co changed their minds. But It seems that some waters are open and some has decided to be kept closed. At the time of this blog Bridgwater AA are allowing fishing but Amalgamated Fisheries who owns Pawlett ponds first said yes and then a day or so later said no to the opening of their waters. Like wise Landsend fisheries has decided to stay shut so they can do some maintenance. But Sedges according to their Facbook page will be open. So the lesson here is before you go fishing is check.
Before I go there was a couple a of photos that I missed off from I think two blog posts back and that was of the river Huntspill and showing how bad things have got with this venue.
So you can see why Bridgwater AA are not paying for this water any more and who can blame them. Totally unfishable.