The Green Heart of Poringland


Police Step Up Patrols – posted 25 June 2020

Police have stepped up their patrols at Poringland Lakes following a spate of vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

Local beat manager, PC Locke, visited the lakes to observe first hand the damage which includes damaging two maintenance gates, throwing oil drums into the lake from the building site next door and hurling a life-ring into the water.

Also reports have been received of youths swimming in the lakes in the late evening despite prominent signs warning ‘No Swimming’.  Not only is this extremely dangerous but the water has been treated with a special dye to control weed growth.

If you have any information regarding anti-social behaviour or damage, please contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or email PC Locke directly at Sherry.Locke@norfolk.pnn.police.uk

Potters Way Link Opens posted 15 June 2020

The cycle and footway linking Potters Way to Hillside has opened to the public.

Norfolk Homes completed the link earlier today enabling local residents to walk or cycle between the new estate and Hillside.

The path on Norfolk Homes side of the boundary has been hard-topped while the remainder of the route across Poringland Lakes’ land will remain as a gravel track, so preserving the site’s rural character.

The new link has been warmly welcomed by local residents who are now able to take the short walk between Potters Way and the main street.

Ready for the Off – posted 16 May 2020

A small band of willing volunteers and contractors spent a busy day on Friday preparing the site ready for today's opening.

Electrical contractors, PJC Electrical, finished the ambitious electricity and aeration project, disconnecting the supply from Norfolk Homes compound and switching it over to the lakes’ dedicated supply.

Meanwhile BH Trees felled and chipped the dead trees in both copses. The material was used to extend the pathway, which has already been dubbed 'The Yellow Chip Road', through the wood.

One welcome addition is construction of a small rustic bench which has been honed from the surplus wood.  It should prove popular judging by this picture of a couple of visitors trying out the seat for the first time.

Led by trustee Paul Bonham, volunteers cut the lake aprons, marked and trimmed the newly designated pegs, de-weeded Noble, strimmed encroaching weeds and much, much more.

"My thanks to Jonny, Liam, Matthew, Michael and Peter for all their hard work" said Paul. "The site looks splendid - all ready for the long awaited re-opening."

Zaks Support Continues  posted 9 May 2020

Poringland’s favourite diner is continuing to support Poringland Lakes.

Popular restaurant, Zaks, famous for its all-American dining experience and authentic recipes, has supported the lakes’ conservation and wildlife programmes for the past six years.

“All our restaurants are neighbourhood based, so we really value the importance of the communities around us” said a Zaks spokesperson.

“We buy locally, get involved in local community events and schools as well as supporting local charities. All of our teams are local and of course we love our loyal local customers, so we are delighted to be supporting the lakes again for another year.”

Zak’s has recently been taken over by new owners Chris Carr and Ian Hacon who also own Zaks restaurants in Barrack Street and on Mousehold in Norwich.  Both men have a long association with the restaurant as they jointly ran the business for a number of years when working for Blue Sky Leisure.

Lakes chairman John Overton was delighted with the news.

“We have plans to plant over 500 new trees at the lakes in the Autumn” explained John. “So it’s wonderful news that Zaks new management is continuing its long association with the lakes and helping us deliver our ambitious tree planting programme which will be a lasting benefit, not only to the local community but for the environment as a whole for many years to come” he added.

Zaks started life in 1976 when local musician and entrepreneur Harvey Platt started serving up its famous foil-wrapped burgers from the iconic van in Norwich.

Lakes Hit by Income Drop – posted 21 April 2020

Like thousands of small organisations throughout the country, the coronavirus lockdown is having a serious impact on the lakes’ finances.

PCFLA treasurer George Shearer estimates that every week in lockdown is costing the Association over £100.

“Spring and early summer are traditionally our busiest times of the year” explained George.  “The loss of day ticket sales and impact of extending the season will have serious implications for our finances, especially if the lockdown goes on for any length of time.

“We still have all our normal running costs to meet.  Only this week we spent just over £300 on fish food.  In addition there are also the regular outgoings like electricity, insurances and site management costs to pay.

“Luckily we have managed to build up a reserve over the years which will provide some cushion but if the present lockdown goes on for several months, it would put a severe strain on our financial resources”  George warned.

In order not to disadvantage season ticket holders unable to pursue their hobby because of the lockdown, the trustees have already extended the season by one month, from 31 May to 30 June and have not ruled out a further extension.

Lakes Eerily Quiet – posted 19 April 2020

With the government announcement that the lockdown will be extended by another three weeks, Poringland Lakes remains eerily quiet, rightly so – at one of the most beautiful times of the year and sadly one of the best for fishing.

The gorse is in full bloom, the trees are verdant green, the birds are singing and the conservation pond is speckled with frog spawn.  The carp are spawning too, undisturbed by prying eyes.  A pair of iridescent blue kingfishers dart between the lakes, resting only on the black pipe or in the reed mace as they eye their next meal.

It really is a wonderful time of year.

Around the site boundary, the houses next to Noble are springing up at a remarkable rate and the footway from Potters Way is taking shape.  It won’t be long before pedestrians and cyclists make their way across the car park as they take the short cut to the local shops and bus stops.

Let’s hope this deadly coronavirus comes to end soon, that we can resume ‘normal’ life and enjoy the beauty of Poringland Lakes once more.

Police Seal Off Lakes - posted 7 April 2020

Police have sealed off Poringland Lakes after reports that people are disregarding the ‘No Entry’ notices and removing barriers in order to gain access to the site.

“The lakes are a relatively remote part of the village and we have had reports of teenagers congregating in numbers there.  Some were even riding bikes around the lakes’ aprons” said lakes chairman John Overton.

“As a result, the police will step up their patrols of the area” he added.

Ciara Carnage posted 9 February 2020

The fiercest storm to hit Norfolk in nearly a decade has brought carnage and destruction to Poringland Lakes - and it is feared the worst is yet to come!

An inspection at 10am this morning shows the extent of the damage.  Several trees have been completely uprooted and many of the birches have snapped off at the top leaving a trail of debris in their wake.  One willow has crashed through the otter fence.

With the storm expected to peak this afternoon with winds gusting to over 60mph, more damage is expected in the next few hours.

“Thankfully we had tree surgeons in only this week” said a lakes’ spokesman.  “They identified and removed a dozen or so trees that appeared unstable, otherwise the damage would have been much more severe.”

We hope to bring you further updates shortly.  In the meantime, the site has been closed to the public for the remainder of the day.

Record Breaking Year for Lakes’ Website – posted 1 January 2020

Poringland Lakes popular website goes from strength to strength as more people than ever click online.

Figures released by service providers earlier today show that visits this year were up a staggering 62 per cent - 62,868 compared to 38,515 in 2018.

Not  just that but December 2019 proved to be the busiest month ever with 7,288 visits while in November total numbers soared past the 200,000 mark.

“The website has proved an enormous success and is key to everything we do” said Association chairman John Overton.

The combination of conservation and fishing together with regular updates, has proved a winning formula.  Our thanks go to Norfolk Homes who have sponsored the website since day one, saving the Association hundreds of pounds in running costs” he added.  

When it was launched in May 2014, organisers could never have envisaged that the site would regularly attract well over a thousand visits every week, far exceeding expectations.

Tree Crashes Through Otter Fence – posted 8 December 2019

A silver birch, uprooted by last night’s high winds, has crashed on top of the otter fence.  Now volunteers face the unenviable task of cutting up the stricken tree and repairing the fence.

Only last week contractors removed several large trees from the site but now environmentalists fear that most of the trees in the copses will have to be felled after falling victims to the dramatic fall in the water table across the whole site.

Bank Stablisation Work Completedposted 21 November 2019

Work to stablise the Potters Way bank has been completed.

The bankside was so unsafe that it was in danger of slipping onto the carriageway, so Norfolk Homes kindly offered to re-profile the bank and pathway to make it more secure.

Unfortunately much of the vegetation had to be cut back.  While the outcome looks dramatic, leading conservationist Peter Aspinall was not unduly alarmed.

“There is still a lot of root base in the bank which should soon regenerate.  In addition we propose some new planting which should greatly improve both habitat and appearance” he said.

Fence and Extended Electricity Supply Planned

Work is expected to start shortly on installing an electricity supply between the Noble borehole and the main supply cabinet on the car park and fencing the boundary between the lakes and Potters Way.

The work, to be carried out by the lakes principal partners Norfolk Homes at no cost to PCFLA, involves grading and reinforcing the Potters Way bank, laying the electricity cable and erecting a security fence.

Unfortunately some vegetation including a semi-mature oak and a band of gorse will have to be removed in order to lay the retaining membrane.  However this will be replaced once the work is completed.

Boundary Fence Underway

Work has started removing, levelling and grading the bund between Noble and the neighbouring building site.

Norfolk Homes began work today in preparation to erect a close board fence along the boundary line. Eventually the fencing will divide the lakes from the back gardens of the new houses, soon to be built.

Norfolk Homes Guarantee Website for Sixth Successive Year

Poringland Lakes’ website has been guaranteed for another year after long-term sponsors, Norfolk Homes, offered to extend their backing for a further twelve months.

The Sheringham-based building contractors have supported the website since it was launched back in May 2014.  Since then it has attracted over 175,000 visits.

Fittingly this month (July 2019) the site enjoyed a staggering 6,210 visits, an all time record, as more people than ever are logging on, all keen to see what’s happening at Poringland Lakes – and hopefully clicking on the link to Norfolk Homes’ website as well!  http://www.norfolkhomes.co.uk/

Dentists Add a Smile

One of Poringland Lakes' longest serving patrons have pledged their support for another year.

Poringland Dental Practice will again be backing the lakes’ conservation and planting programme.

The news was welcomed by conservation trustee Peter Aspinall.

“We are indebted to local companies like Poringland Dental Practice for their continued and valued support” said Peter.

“We plan to do a lot of planting this year in support of the national B-Line initiative.  We rely totally on voluntary contributions to do this, so Poringland Dental Practice’s generous support is not only very welcome but it will positively help local wildlife, bees and butterflies in particular ” had added.

Fittingly the announcement comes on the very day one of the country’s leading conservationists, Paul Hetherington from the national wildlife charity Buglife, will visit Poringland Community Centre to explain the importance of pollination to all our lives and the need to protect bees and butterflies.

Lakes in The Link

Poringland Lakes are featured prominently in the latest edition of South Norfolk Council’s community magazine, ‘The Link’.

The full page article, together with two coloured photographs, outlines the lakes’ history and explains how a £3,404 grant from South Norfolk Council’s Community Action Fund will enable the Association to have its own dedicated electricity supply and aeration system.

South Norfolk chairman John Overton was full of praise for the conservation volunteers.

“The volunteers involved in developing the site are a huge inspiration” said John.  “It’s a unique place as the anglers help manage the site as well as fish here.  By doing so, they are providing an oasis for wildlife and an open classroom for anyone interested in nature conservation” he added.

The full article is reproduced below.


 Lakes Feature in National Report

Poringland Lakes have been featured in a national report.

The Angling Trust’s annual report, published earlier today, has highlighted Poringland as an exempler for encouraging youngsters to take up the sport through its 'Free Fishing for Kids' and recruitment initiatives.

Headlining the lakes’ hugely successful participation programme, the report states

“Poringland Lakes in Norfolk is a shining example of how clubs and fisheries can introduce more people to angling.”

The article goes on to praise the association’s participation programme, citing that the lakes attracted 159 new anglers last year, 121 of whom were under-13.  Even more pleasing is that fact that 37 were women or girls, representing nearly 25% of new anglers.

The report also highlights the success of the Kingfisher club and the active coaching programme, especially for those affected by mental health issue or disabilities.

Association chairman John Overton said “It’s wonderful that Poringland should gain this national recognition.  It’s a testament to everyone’s hard work and commitment, especially those volunteers who support and run the Family Fishing Days and the Kingfisher club.”

Signs Honour Lakes’ Founders

Poringland Lakes has taken delivery of three bespoke signs to mark the outstanding commitment of three founding members.

Named after Dave Gudgeon, Ray Noble and the late Glenn Duffield, the signs were made and presented by season ticket holder Colin Dade who also donated the ‘Poringland Lakes’ sign now prominently displayed at the car park entrance.

Made from solid oak in a rustic design, the new signs will shortly be positioned beside the corresponding lakes.


Photo: Colin Dade (centre) presents the new signs to lakes' founders Ray Noble and Dave Gudgeon.

Signing On 

Eagle-eyed visitors will have noticed a new sign as they enter the car park. 

Constructed from solid oak, the sign has been made and donated by season ticket holder Colin Dade. 

Colin, whose work is much sought after, is now in the throes of making three additional signs, one for each of the three fishing lakes, Duffield, Gudgeon and Noble, again at no cost to the Association. 

“The new sign looks great” said lakes chairman John Overton.  “We are very grateful to Colin for doing them.” 

Parish Council to Safeguard Lakes’ Future 

Poringland Lakes could be designated as a Local Green Space under the Parish Council’s Neighbourhood Plan.  Local Green Space designation is a way to provide special protection against development for green areas of particular importance to local communities. 

A draft policy report to the Parish Council meeting earlier in the week, proposed that the lakes, together with Carr Lane community woodland, village playing field and war memorial, be protected from housing development. 

The report concluded that:

“It will be important to ensure the provision of public open space as part of development, and protect sites, as designated Local Green Spaces, that are demonstrably important to the local community and are local in nature. This principle received very strong support in consultations, perhaps complementing a concern that the rural nature of the village is being eroded.”

The trustees will consider the matter at its next meeting when it expected the Board will endorse the Parish Council’s proposals.

Police and Bailiffs Step Up Patrols

Police and bailiffs patrols have been stepped up at Poringland Lakes following incidents of vandalism and unsocial behaviour.

Overnight two young trees were snapped off and used as a battering ram in an effort to wreck the breather tube in Noble lake.  The event follows recent incidents when tree boughs have been thrown into the lakes.

Volunteers faced the difficult task of reinstating the cap.  Using the lakes boat, they also took the opportunity to remove some of the reeds threatening to overgrow the swims in Gudgeon.

Descriptions of two suspects seen at the lakes that evening have been passed to the police and it is hoped arrests and prosecutions will soon follow.

Newspaper Boost

Volunteers, friends and everyone connected with Poringland Lakes have been thrilled to see an article that appeared in the Eastern Daily Press earlier this week.

After visiting a Family Fishing Fun Day, renowned angler, author, journalist and broadcaster John Bailey wrote a wonderful article under the banner heading 'Poringand Lakes can act as an inspiration to our society'.

“This is a superb article” said lakes chairman John Overton “one which will give everyone connected with the lakes a real boost.  Our thanks to John for his continued support and encouragement”

Below is an extract from the EDP website.

John Bailey: Poringland Lakes can act as inspiration to our society


John Bailey enjoys his day at Poringland Lakes. Picture: John Bailey

I mentioned last week that I was preparing to set off to a Family Fishing day at Poringland Lakes.

It amazed me to think that it had been three years since my last visit. Even then the area, studded with water, was something of a haven, an emerging paradise. Three years down the line, it was gob smacking to see just exactly what nature and man in tandem have achieved there. It’s hard to know where to begin to describe the transformation.

The site is only five acres but it seems much larger now that it has matured. There are ponds, wetlands, wildflowers, wooded areas and glimpses of beauty, here, there and everywhere. Of course, the lakes are enjoyed by anglers young and old but the site is also a sanctuary for the residents of Poringland and those that live round about. The website talks about this natural jewel being an oasis, a secret Eden, if you like. I know if I lived closer, I would simply haunt the place.

Rod Witham was his usual generous self and showed me round before the children began to fish, ably instructed and helped along by all the volunteers.

There is building absolutely everywhere in the area and houses, shortly, will press against the very boundaries of the site. In short, over the decades to come, this green area will become more vital for children, families, wildlife and those who appreciate it. It’s an extraordinary vision and one that should inspire every one of Norfolk’s expanding towns and villages. We need houses for shelter and supermarkets for food but, equally, we also need those quiet areas where we can breathe and regain touch with our essential humanity.

I don’t know how many children, parents, volunteers and instructors there were around the waterside last Wednesday but it seemed like a cast of thousands so great the energy and enthusiasm given off. Those that think angling is a snooze should have witnessed the scene and sensed the bubbling anticipation and excitement. The fishing did not disappoint. Floats bobbed, dipped and disappeared all round the lake from the very off. Rods were bending, reels were screaming and kids were laughing and shouting. There were dramas and disappointments, tears and triumphs.

At one stage, I looked round and it was hard to decipher who was enjoying the occasion more, the kids or the adults! That, surely, is how things should be. Fishing is a passion for both sexes, for all ages.

As an aside, I was interested in the carp being caught. To me, they looked like lean, pewter grey commons of the old wildie type that once proliferated here in Norfolk. I’m not exactly sure the heritage of these Poringland fish but it could be that the wildie strain has found a sanctuary here. Also, tucked in an idyllic part of the site was a smaller lake, recently constructed, home to several score newly stocked crucian carp. I’ve mentioned the Norfolk Crucian Project before and it seems that Dr Carl Sayer has been busy here at Poringland. Wildies and crucians in adjoining ponds? How good can life get?

For legal reasons, I suppose, the children were assembled before the fishing began to listen to a long talk about health and safety. That’s the world we live in now, I know, but it saddened me to realise that children today have lost perhaps the most essential element that people of older generations enjoyed. Freedom. Ask anyone over the age of 40 about their memories of summer holidays and freedom will figure large. Freedom to roam dawn till dusk. Freedom to cycle for miles with gangs of friends. Freedom to fish, play cricket, footie, to climb trees. Freedom to learn, to face challenges, to express yourself. I looked at these excited, enthralled kids and realised despite all their material benefits, their own personal right to roam has over the last 20 years or so been completely restricted. It made me sad, it made me realise that what we adults had, these kids will never enjoy.

But that’s the world we inhabit and the Poringland initiative is the very, absolute bests that children today can expect. Days like this give children the chance to savour what the natural world is truly about, in reality, not watched on a screen. Everyone involved with this Poringland initiative should be truly, deeply proud of what they are doing.

And never think girls don’t like fishing as much as boys. A couple of weeks back I took 10-year-old Heidi Gallant with me to catch her personal best tench. She and father Matt, sat side by side, hour upon hour. She was there from eight in the morning until five in the evening, her eyes never straying from her float. She had one bite, one tench approaching six pounds in weight and sighed deeply when it was time to leave. I’ve seen tens of thousands of anglers in the course of my life but never a truer one than little Heidi. 

Maintenance Work Continues

With temperatures nudging the mid twenties, a small but resolute band of volunteers tackled the challenge of tidying up the lakes ahead of a visit from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust.

The branches from the felled trees in Duffield were transported to the bonfire site ready for burning, the 'rogue' saplings growing around the lakes edges were removed, lifebuoy housings cleaned and potholes car park access track was filled.

Site manager Ryan Westgarth was pleased with progress.

"Although we had a small turn out, all the lads knuckled down and we got a lot done” he said.  “My thanks to Andy, Jonny, Mick and Nick for all their efforts on a blistering hot day" he added. 

Blue Water – No Cause for Concern

Visitors to Poringland Lakes will notice a dramatic change in the water colour. 

In an effort to control the spread of Canadian pondweed, the three main lakes have been treated with a special dye which turns the water blue but eventually retards weed growth. 

Applying the bright blue dye earlier today, fishery manager Ryan Westgarth was keen to point out that the dye will not affect the fish or established plants like water lilies or bankside reed or rush. 

It will however prevent the sun from penetrating weed growing on the bottom of the lakes and so significantly reduce Canadian pondweed which threatens to over-run the lakes, especially in Noble. 

The treatment was recommended by fishery consultants Framlingham Fisheries who have a long association with the lakes and are familiar with the waters’ characteristics. 

Chris Vickers, who heads the consultancy division, has 20 years experience in aquatic management and has been a regular visitor to Poringland, added his reassurance. 

“We have extensive experience in the use of water dyes for the control of aquatic weed and algae. This new water treatment can be both effective and environmentally friendly. 

“While aquatic weed has many beneficial attributes, there are times when you have too much of a certain species which, if not addressed, chokes the entire water body which is the problem at Poringland. 

In recent weeks, bailiffs have been concerned about low oxygen levels, especially in Gudgeon.  As a result the trustees have applied to the Angling Trust for a £5,000 grant towards the installation of a permanent electricity supply and aeration.

Big Clear Up Begins

Volunteers are busy clearing the site after this week's gale force winds ripped out trees and brought down branches. 

"Thankfully there was no damage to the more established trees" said head bailiff Ray Noble. "but once again several of the shallow rooted birches in the copse were badly affected." 

Plans are already in place to replace some of the lost trees. 

"I would like to see a few native pines planted to give the site some all year greenery and bird cover" said leading conservationist Peter Aspinall. 

Top Official Praises Lakes 

One of the region’s top angling officials has praised Poringland Lakes for its efforts in promoting the sport to youngsters. 

Writing on the lakes’ sister Facebook page, co-chairman of the Broads Angling Strategy Group, Mark Casto, posted the following comment 

“This is a heartfelt and very public thank you to all the folks that manage Poringland Lakes. 

“This year has been brilliant seeing so many youngsters take up fishing for the first time and families coming along to enjoy the peaceful surroundings. It’s people like you that really care about the local community that makes such a difference.          

“So thank you for all your hard work and wishing you all the very best for 2018.” 

In 2017 the Association attracted 159 new anglers to the sport including 121 under-13s.  Equally pleasing is the fact that 37 of the newcomers were women or girls.

Maintenance Work Continues 

For the past month, volunteers have given up their Sunday mornings to carry out essential maintenance works at Poringland Lakes.

The ambitious programme includes installing new fishing pegs, restoring the dipping platform in the conservation pond, clearing troublesome Canadian pondweed and general housekeeping. 

“I’d like to thank everyone who have helped out” said lakes’ head bailiff Ray Noble.  “We have made good progress but there is still a fair bit to do including installing a few more fishing pegs and controlling Canadian pond weed.”

Now the race is on the complete the fishing pegs ahead of the 31 August deadline set by the Angling Trust who have funded the work and plan to inspect it shortly after.

Volunteers Brave Soaring Temperatures

The hottest day of the year didn't prevent a small but hardy band of volunteers from constructing two new fishing pegs on Noble lake. 

With temperatures nudging 30 degrees, the volunteers certainly worked up a sweat as they continued the programme of improving access and safety, an initiative funded by the Angling Trust. 

Plans to install two dipping platforms in the newly restored conservation pond suffered a setback when it was realised the ground was still saturated and unable to support the weight if the platforms. 

"We'll have to rethink our plans" said head bailiff Ray Noble. "We’ll still go ahead with the work but will need to strengthen the foundation in order to securely support the platform" he explained. 

Meanwhile, further progress was made de-weeding the lake and installing owl and bat boxes in the woodland glade. 

"We'll need to organise some more work parties to finish the job" said Ray. “Hopefully on a less warm day!" 

Police Apprehend Suspected Vandals 

Trustees of the lakes are hoping that a recent spell of vandalism will now end after police intercepted a group of lads leaving the site in the early hours of the morning. 

Police stopped five young men at 1.30am, one of whom was carrying a lakes' lifebuoy. 

The site has suffered a spate of vandalism and theft recently including life belts stolen or thrown into the lakes together with building materials and log seats upended and moved. Neighbouring residential property has also been damaged. There are also signs that drug taking has taken place. 

The police and lakes' bailiffs will be increasing their patrols of the area.          

Although open to the public, the lakes are privately owned by PCFLA. Anyone found at the lakes after dark will be cautioned and may have civil action taken against them. 

Cars Banned from Conservation Area 

The trustees have unanimously agreed to prohibit cars from parking in the conservation area with immediate effect. 

In a statement issued recently, the association explained the reasons behind their decision. 

“We realise that this will come as a disappointment to some season ticket holders, especially those who have parked inside the gate for many years.  However we need to protect the conservation area, maximise the use of the car park and to treat all members equitably. 

“Now that we have potentially 76 season ticket holders, it is no longer appropriate or viable for everyone to be allowed to park inside the gate.  We trust season ticket holders will understand the reasons behind this decision and continue to support the Association’s principles.” 

Outfall Completed

Contractors have completed the long awaited outfall from Mill Close development. 

Alan Wright Builders put the final touches to the installation earlier today.  The outfall will now provide the lakes with a sustainable water source for many years to come. 

The lakes management committee signed a Deed of Easement with previous owners Mirador Developments back in 2013.  At that time the lakes were perilously short of water, so the outfall, which takes clean water from the neighbouring roofs, was seen as a permanent solution to the water problem. 

Health Walkers Visit

A group of health walkers took advantage of the spring-like weather to pay a visit to the lakes earlier today. 

Health walks are promoted by local doctor’s surgeries, in this case Mill Road Surgery, to improve adult’s mental and physical well-being health, so reducing the risk of developing serious illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. 

Although living locally, many of the group of a dozen or so, were not aware of the lakes and commented on its peaceful tranquillity. 

So popular was the visit that it will now form a regular destination for Walking for Health groups. 

If you would like to know more information, please click on


Big Clear Up Begins

The big clear up after Storm Doris has begun. 

With winds gusting over 60 mph, the conservation area took the brunt of the storm.    A dozen shallow rooted trees in the copse toppled over while the holly tree on the Mount also had to be cut back as it was blocking the path. 

Volunteers also took the opportunity to remove or trim some of the willows and sallows before removing the brash to the bonfire site. 

“It could have been worse” said trustee Ryan Westgarth.  “Thankfully none of the established trees were affected and the newly planted whips withstood the wind remarkably well.” 

The trustees will now be discussing with Poringland tree warden Henry Gowman about the possibility of replanting the area. 

Trees Stolen

A dozen or so young trees recently planted at the lakes have been uprooted and stolen.  

Wardens reported that the entire hedge along the lower mount section had been removed.  The incident has been reported to the local police who have promised to increase their visits especially during the hours of darkness.

In the meantime tree warden Peter Aspinall has offered to replace the trees with a small reserve stock he holds.

“The increased police patrols are very welcome” said Peter.  “If the police can’t trace the tree thieves, we may have to bring in Special Branch!”

If anyone has any information about the thefts, please contact Norfolk Police by telephoning 101 and quoting crime number 36/14047/17.

Influential Strategy Group Praises Lakes

Poringland Lakes came in for special praise at last night’s meeting of the influential Broads Angling Strategy Group (BASG) meeting at the Oakland Hotel.

Formed in May 2000, the BASG is a group of local anglers with a wide range of experience, who all share a special passion for fishing on the Broads.  BASG members volunteer their time and effort to work in partnership with the Environment Agency and the Broads Authority to help maintain, improve and develop angling within the Broads and safeguard fishing for the future.

One of the group’s principal objectives is to encourage newcomers to the sport and support young anglers.

BASG vice chairman Mark Casto explained the “outstanding recruitment initiative” going on at Poringland and praised volunteers for their commitment in recruiting and encouraging young anglers.

During the past six months, the community based lake has introduced over 60 local youngsters to the sport.  For more information about the excellent work being carried out by the BASG, visit www.basgonline.org

Lakes Singled Out in National Report  

Poringland Lakes has been singled out in an important and widely circulated report.  

Launching its annual report earlier today, the Angling Trust featured the work Poringland Lakes have been doing in recent months recruiting youngsters to the sport.  

Written by Angling Trust’s Head of Participation, Clive Copeland, the report states  “The ‘Let’s Go Family Fishing’ events at Poringland Lakes were well attended by many families.  All the sessions were fully booked and went down extremely well with the local community.

"The Angling Trust would like to thank all the organisers, coaches and volunteers at the fishery” the report concluded.  

The report also featured two photographs from Poringland Lakes.

 Association chairman John Overton was delighted with the news.

“Our team of volunteers have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort in running the Family Fishing Days, so it is great to see their hard work has been so publicly acknowledged by the sport’s governing body, The Angling Trust” said John. 

Lakes Hit the Headlines  

Poringland Lakes’s Family Fishing Fun Days have been highlighted in today’s Angling Times.  

Featured in the Angling Trust column under the headline ‘Norfolk Event Pulls in the Crowds’, the article heralds the success of the Family Fishing Days and praises the work of our tremendous band of helpers.  The copy is supplemented by a group photo.  

The 16th August edition of Angling Times is available from all good newsagents, price £1.99.  

Work Starts on Platforms

Work has started on building three fishing platforms in the Ray Noble lake.  

Until now, the trustees have stoutly discouraged the construction of platforms on the basis that it would spoil the natural aesthetic look of the lakes’ aprons.  

However sections of the smallest lake are virtually inaccessible to anglers because of the relatively steep banking, so the management team have agreed that three stations can be built.  

“Not only will it allow anglers to fish all round the lake but it will make things a lot safer” explained maintenance officer Ryan Westgarth.  

The platforms are constructed from surplus material from the neighbouring Mill Close development.  Redundant railway sleepers which formed part of the perimeter boundary have been cut to size and infilled with sandbags and top soil.  

The project is expected to be completed later this month.

Memorial Bench Unveiled

A new memorial bench has been unveiled at Poringland Lakes.

Provided by the Norse Group with monies from the Landfill Communities Fund, the all-weather bench has been sited adjacent to the Glenn Duffield memorial lake.

Fittingly the first person to sit on the bench was Glenn’s sister Lynn who kindly provided a memorial plaque in Glenn’s memory.  The bench also features similar memorials to John Tooke and Steve Wakefield.  

The bench was installed by local contractors Morley Builders.  

A second bench, also compliments of the Norse Group, will be added soon, this time on the apron of the Dave Gudgeon lake. 

New Interpretation Board Installed

A new site information board has been installed at Poringland Lakes.

Funded by a grant from the Norse Group through the Landfill Communities Fund, the board charts the history of the site from the 1890s through to the present day.  It explains what can be seen throughout the year with a special section devoted to each of the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter.

"The interpretation board is a great addition to the site" said lakes' president Dave Gudgeon. "Now the casual visitor, which we are seeing in ever increasing numbers, can learn more about the site and the wonderful variety of wildlife living there" he added.

The board was designed and manufactured by market leaders Fitzpatrick Woolmer Design & Publishing of Kent.  Fittingly it is made from 100% recycled UK waste, is finished in authentic wood grain effect plastic, requires no maintenance and is completely rot proof.

The photographic content was supplied by leading Norfolk wildlife photographer Liz Dack.  Resident warden Peter Aspinall advised on the content.

New Logo Unveiled

Poringland Lakes has unveiled its new logo. 

Designed by well known local angler and professional graphic illustrator Henry Marshall-Nicholls, the artwork cleverly combines the lakes’ conservation and fishing ethos. 

The importance of community is reflected in the family group while the wildlife element is portrayed by the squirrel and rabbit in the foreground.  The silhouetted panorama is surmounted by an over-arching tree. 

“The new image is really striking” said lakes’ president Dave Gudgeon.  “It truly encapsulates what the lakes are all about – flora, fauna, families and fishing.  We’re really grateful to Henry for doing it.”