World Rivers Day 2017 (Grantham)

I had the great pleasure of participating in a fantastic event in the lovely setting of Wyndham Park in Grantham on the River Witham for World Rivers Day 2017.
Wyndham Park

As well as drawing attention (and deserved accolades) to the habitat improvement works carried out in partnerships between Lincolnshire Rivers Trust, Environment Agency and the good ol’ Wild Trout Trust, it was a great chance for enjoyment and learning.

Tons of stalls, tours of the habitat works, invertebrate samples in tanks, Model Rivers, Fly casting with Peter Arfield and Tenkara casting with myself — even an epic pooh sticks race off the bridge in the park. The weather was kind too.

Throughout the day there was a steady stream of visitors either strolling through the park and becoming engaged in the activities or folks who had seen the social media advertising and come along especially.

And, in the course of taking a walk along the river with some particularly interested (and interesting folks) I even managed to demonstrate both the casting techniques I’d shown on the grass — but also the proof of fishy life in the river itself — by way of a live tenkara demonstration too.

Witham Chub and a Japanese-style landing net: Photo by Tom Cull
The kids and parents alike were also enthralled with Freddy the Fish” (a rubber char that, when tied to the end of a fishing line, swims” in the current) and a steady procession of participants got to practice the tricky skills of handling lines that are longer than the rod you are using — without a reel…

All in all, a fantastic event and big congratulations to all involved, with special mention of Russ Critchley who carried a lot of the organisational burden and who looked after all of us exhibitors so well. Great to catch up with Matt and Darren from the EA too and many thanks to Tom Cull for letting me use his photos of the tenkara chub.

World Rivers Day is a global collection of events on the third Sunday in September each year. If you like this story (and other similar events) — please share it on Social Media using the hashtag: #worldriversday