Canal upgrade after £10K grant

Oakham Canal, which runs between Oakham and Melton Mowbray, has benefitted from significant fishery and infrastructure improvements thanks to local business Mick George Ltd, which donated £10,705 to the cause.

As would be expected of a 200-year-old location that has limited funding access, the site has in recent times shown signs of dilapidation and as such has prompted Oakham Angling Society to take action in addressing some of the issues.

And thanks to the grant, now developments can be witnessed in multiple locations.

Keen to encourage diversity, additional fish stocks have been added to the canal including new species of tench, bream, perch and rudd, which compliment the predominant presence of carp and roach that already exists.

Outside of the water, a series of other enhancements include new fishing platforms, canal bank’ preservation measures, towpath restoration and increased car-parking spaces.

Gary Berridge, of Oakham Angling Society, said: ‘’The grant from Mick George Ltd has helped tremendously to improve the facilities and fishing at the Oakham Canal.

“With these improvements, membership is likely to grow which will ensure that Oakham Angling Society has a sustainable future.’’

It is anticipated that the recent advancements will attract about 6,000 people each year to the location, made up of anglers, ramblers and dog walkers.

Wildlife enthusiasts have already profited from prior developments at the site, with the emergence of various new habitats, including water voles, bat and hedgehog nesting, kingfishers, otters and a pair of breeding swans.

Further restoration works are already planned that will further increase the accessible fishing area.

Jon Stump, finance director at Mick George Ltd, said: “This isn’t the first angling project that we have supported, having been involved with a similar initiative at Rothwell and Desborough Angling Club in Northamptonshire. We’ve witnessed the positive feedback from that investment and I’m sure it will be the same in this instance.”