Charges are to be introduced for people wishing to fish at Chapman’s Pond on Moor Lane.
The charges will be levied when the lease of the site, to the Friends of Chapman’s pond, is concluded later in the year.
The charges are expected to be £3 per day or £15 per year for adults, £1 a day or £5 a year for 13 – 16 years olds and free for under 12s. This level of charging is comparable with the nearby Railway Pond. Fishing has previously been free at the site.
Last year the pond had to be closed to anglers following an outbreak of disease in the fishing stock. At the suggestion of the Environment Agency, and with the support of the anglers, the Council closed the pond during this year’s spawning period resulting in a huge reduction in the number of fish deaths compared to last year
An anglers group is expected to appoint volunteer bailiffs to police fishing at the pond.
The move is also expected to address anti-social behaviour problems at the pond although it is not yet clear whether the boundary will be secured.
Chapman’s Pond is a 2.6 ha site off Moor Lane in Dringhouses. The pond itself covers roughly a third of the site with other habitats including woodland and meadow. It is currently managed by the Council with the assistance of the Friends of Chapman’s Pond.
The Friends are a long running group and have over the years carried out practical maintenance tasks and conservation enhancements. They have also assisted with fund raising, in particular for the circular path in 2011/12 and, for the last three years, in partnership with Love to Eat Café, a summer fair has taken place on site.
The area will be leased to the Friends for a nominal fee initially for three years.
The plan is being discussed at a Council meeting taking place on 23rd September.