The Countryfile crew had plenty to film when they visited Sabeys Pool, run by West Hampstead Angling Society, to document the work of the Angling and Nature Conservation project. West Hampstead Angling Society have been major and proactive participants in the project and are working hard to get the best out of their fishery for wildlife as well as the fish they manage.
The crew got live action shots of the club’s fishery manager, Anthony Johns, putting some finishing touches to two kingfisher boxes the club have installed to reinstate an old kingfisher nesting bank. Charlotte also chatted to Lydia Herts and Midlesex Wildlife Trust Colne Valley Rivers and Wetlands Officer, about why fisheries are up there alongside nature reserves as refuges for wildlife, and the benefits of working in partnership with the angling community.
Meanwhile, over on neighbouring Croxley Hall Fishery, one of only two stronghold sites for water voles in the Colne Valley, Charlotte joined Tony Booker, Chairman of the Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative, in checking camera trap stations he has set up to monitor the population there. It seems the water voles knew the crew were coming – tune in to see some cracking footage of these rare mammals!
It’s important to understand the lengths conservation organisations, the angling community and volunteers go to to ensure water voles still persist in the Colne Valley, and to that end Charlotte was also roped into checking a footprint monitoring raft for presence of the invasive American mink, which is a serious threat to the survival of water voles. Thankfully no signs of mink on the raft on the day, and the water voles were free to continue basking in the limelight in front of Tony’s camera traps.