Manderson Trust update October 2021


The Manderson Trust has been around for many years and quite a few Fenstanton folk regularly fish in their waters in Over –  in Overcote Road opposite the Pike & Eel .

Initially set up by Denis Manderson to allow disabled and less able-bodied fishermen and women easy access to a fishing lake, the complex is open to everyone who enjoys fishing, whether as a day-ticket, season ticket or family membership.

The latest Manderson Trust update has been received for October 2021

In turbulent times The Trust has continued to provide a haven of calm. A place to sit, think, take in a bit of nature and unwind.

The free under 12s fishing has seen many more families down at the lakes this summer making the most of the equipment we loan and the advice we offer. If you are thinking of bringing youngsters to have a go it’s always a good idea to start them fishing with a pole or whip suited to their size and to bait up with a few maggots as they almost guarantee a fish a cast. Once a few fish are caught most youngsters are hooked and will want to move on to a rod and reel and the chance of bigger specimens. We have carp up to 20lb in lake 5 and a host from 6lb upwards. Get in touch if you fancy a session with your youngsters.

The restocking of Lake 1 with small carp up to 2lb has proved very successful. One angler recently had 40 in a 12 hour session. The lake now hosts open matches on the first Sunday of each month with winning catches usually being in the 10lb to 20lb range. More stock, Carp and Ide should arrive before the new year. See our Facebook page for notifications.

Jack Shelley, our President for many years, passed away just before Covid struck. Donations were made at his funeral in support of the Trust and, belatedly, this September finally saw the installation of his double fishing platform on Lake 5. Now an angler and carer can fish together in comfort. We would like to thank Over church and lands for the £250 they gave us to complete the project.

Our condolences go to Bob Nicholson’s family who passed away recently. Bob was a long-time member of the Trust and his dry wit will be sorely missed. A memorial bench has been presented, by his family, to The Trust and now allows visitors to sit and view Lake 5 from Bob’s favourite swim.

Last winter brought with it a lot of rain and with that came soft banks and rutted access paths. The Mick George sports fund very kindly gave us a grant of over £1000 to purchase hard core and gravel to reinstate and repair nearly 200m of track. The funding included a sum for machinery and driver hire. We are very grateful to Dave at Over garage for the use of their digger and to Harry for his time and skills as the driver.

Work continues on the wild flower meadow. More thanks are needed to Richard Fenwick for his hard work on the ‘little red Furgie’, cutting grass and harrowing the area ready for spring next year. Last year we seeded the meadow with insects in mind this year the Trust has allocated funds to add colourful native annuals to the site. Trevor from the Over and Swavesey conservation society continues to advise us and monitor the progress of the area. This year’s star find was a group of Bee Orchids among the grass.

Plans are afoot to restock Lake 4 as part of ongoing development. 100 Tench and 100 Crucian carp will go in once water temperatures consistently drop to below 7 degrees. The banks around the lake will have a makeover giving access to areas in front of swims in order to clear weed but to also allow other areas to develop the cover that the two species need to thrive.

Our next project will be to make Lake 3 fully functioning again. Norfolk reed has all but taken it over but with a combination of mechanical removal and judicious spraying we should be able to get it under control. This will be an expensive job and work on funding will be in hand over the next few months. Once the work is complete, we will have a breeding lake to provide smaller fish to stock the other lakes and a great place for juniors to hone their angling skills.

The Trust is making efforts to link up with various support organisations in the community. We continue to work with The Centre School in Cottenham and have recently joined forces with Cambridge City Housing First Project who bring those they support to the lakes for a bit of respite and a quiet time on the bank. If you know of a group or organisation that would benefit from the facilities we can offer, please contact us.

If there is a fisherman in the family and you are struggling to find a present this Christmas annual membership is £60 but only £30 for OAPs and £15 for Juniors 13-18. We also offer night fishing for a £25 supplement to annual membership. As always, registered disabled members fish for free.

November saw us in The Angling Times. We appeared as one of the national venues that cater for disabled anglers. We have already had enquiries about using our facilities as a result.

The annual Fur and Feather match will be held on the 18th December on lake 1. It is an open match but needs to be booked and paid for, £10, by the 4th December. Prizes for all and a bacon butty. The fee can be put in the honesty box on site or posted to us at The Manderson Trust, Overcote, CB24 5NT. Please include your name and contact details.

Best wishes from all at The Manderson Trust.”