Members of the Thameside Works Angling and Preservation Society (TWAPS) have kindly agreed to let the Fishing for Schools Kent group use a club water, that is normally only open to members, for coaching.

The new arrangement means F4S will be able to use Cobham Hall, which is a lovely water in the grounds of a former stately home, with small groups of students and, as time goes on, we hope to be invited to use other club waters.

The pupils will get temporary membership, valid on the days of the coaching. The benefits for F4S students are that they get to fish a new water, there will be the opportunity for our junior students to join the club and Cobham Hall is very well placed for our schools in the Gravesend and Maidstone area.

F4S coordinator for Kent, Warren White, said: “I admire TWAPS for this stance because not many clubs would allow youngsters in to use their waters. Sadly you don’t always get a good response from the paying adult members.

“But over the years F4S instructor Charlie Rayner, who is also member of TWAPS, has sown the seed of allowing us access and I am pleased the members gave it the green light at their recent meeting.”

This new partnership is an important step forward for F4S in the area and something, Warren feels fishing clubs across the country should be more open to.

He said: “We are continually told that youngsters are not coming into the sport and statistics from clubs and the Environment Agency back this up. We believe if young anglers get the opportunity to try their local club waters, fishing participation will go up and there will be sustainability for the future.”

Warren’s F4S schedule for 2018 is planned out many months in advance, so it is probable that the only group to use Cobham Hall this academic year will be the Thursday BTEC group from Rowhill School. But the important thing, from an F4S perspective, is that we now have an agreement from a local fishing club for future use of their waters, which is great news.