February 2011


Gems are hard to come by especially when it comes to lakes for fishing on. But there is one out there and it’s called Chadwick or “Chaddy” Dam. Originally the lake belonged to Chadwick’s factory along with the boating lake which is next to the dam. In fact both Chaddy’s dam and the boating lake were one lake but when the land was brought by Stalybridge and Ashton Under Lyne towns in 1891, an embankment was built to separate and make one lake into two.

The dam itself has been left to its own devices and fell into disrepair over the years although trees, shrubs and plants have all thrived creating an oasis for the wildlife which includes many bird species like Mallard and Canadian Geese, with the

latter nesting during the summer on the two islands which sit neatly in the middle of the lake. The dam itself was filled with all sorts of rubbish people threw in over the years, and that turned a beautiful lake into an eyesore especially for residents living nearby. During the summer kids swam the lake which probably wasn’t a good idea due to the underwater hazards lurking underneath which included shopping trolleys and cars.

People did fish the dam though. In fact I fished it many times during my youth and caught many many crucian carp on a float and delicious sweet corn tempting those golden coloured fighters into submission. There was never any one peg which seemed to be better than the others so fishing Chadwick Dam was always an experience.

There

were other fish in the murky waters of the Chads including roach, bream, perch and of course pike and carp. It was the carp which were the hardest to catch and no one never quiet knew what lay hidden underneath, until recently.

Recently the local council have given a small and enthusiastic band of anglers the opportunity to lease it. They run it with enthusiasm and hope, hope that their dreams pay off and they turn a great fishing lake into one of the best in the country and the members come flooding in.

Ridgehill Angling Club is a small club with just one lake, Chadwick Dam. Formed in 2007, the people in charge, Simon, Stephen, Sean and Rob want the dam to be a starting point for young and old anglers alike. They regularly hold meetings where new members are welcomed with open arms. They do a lot for the young ones around the area and have even taken them fishing in France which was a great success for everyone involved. But running a club like Ridgehill Angling Club isn’t easy. They have had to go through many hoops in order to get where they are today, which by the way is a wonderful lake packed full of fish including carp of all weights. In fact the biggest, a 23lb mirror called Trigger was recently caught for the very first time. It’s a wonderful, healthy looking fish and was caught recently by Neil Allen.

The members started by removing all the rubbish from the lake itself and surrounding

area. They then built new pegs around the lake making it safe for people to fish. The lake was then netted which gave the staff a good idea of what fish where in the dam and how healthy they were. Planting trees and other fauna have also improved the area around the chads and turned this little gem once more into a great fishing spot.

Ridgehill Angling Club has a membership scheme and is open to anyone young or old, experienced or someone never having fished before. If you come along to fish for the day then there are day tickets available from the bank. The staff all take lots of their own time to educate the young and not so old on the basics of fishing including tackling up, hook tying and the safe handling of the fish they catch. When they can the staff arrange fishing competitions and days out to other lakes, canals and rivers in the UK and France and these trips have been a great success.

The club has a Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#!/group.php?gid=153646994655545

And a website:

http://ridgehillanglingclub.org.uk/

There’s a wealth of information on the pages including videos and pictures so go check them out.

If you are looking for a hidden gem where the wildlife is abundant and the fishing great then why not come along? Day tickets are available on the bank but why not take out a membership? All the information you need is on the noticeboards on the dam itself. The lake caters for different types of fishing too including carping, pike fishing and bit bashing so no matter what type of fisherman you are why not give Chadwick dam a whirl? There’s a hidden gem waiting to be explored.

See you there and tight lines!!

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I am fortunate enough to live in a part of the UK that is very beautiful. That area of Britain is in the North West and is called Stalybridge. We are lucky in that a 20 minute car journey can take you to the wonders of the Peak District along with Dovestones and Indian Head.

We have everything from rivers winding their way through the towns on their way to the sea to wilderness and wildlife that is second to none. In fact this place is a place where one can see the Arctic Hare with it’s white coat in winter. They are not a native to the area but were probably introduced during the Victorian era for people to hunt. We have hills, gorges, canals, lakes and reservoir’s all around us that are perfect for that summer walk or ramble where you can become one with the nature around you.

These pictures were taken as I walked along the reservoirs’ in Brushes. At the top there’s 2 paths 1 leading to Carrbrook and the other into Hadfield.

I Took the Wildlife and Surrounding Natural Beauty for Granted

When I returned from Sweden I decided to get out and about once again like I did many years ago with my dad. We would spend hours just walking and looking for the wildlife hiding in the wonderful heather that is all around. As I got older all that went by the wayside until I went to Sweden and realised that not only does Sweden have wonderful wildlife but most of the animals and insects I saw were also resident in the UK. Over the years I had taken it all for granted and never went out walking or bird watching, not even with the kids when they were growing up. Now that is bad as I think kids should be given every opportunity to get out and about into the countryside and see for themselves just how wonderfully diverse and beautiful it is.

I Made Myself a Promise When I Returned

That promise was to get out and about and that is what I have done when I can. Starting off in December when the snow was lying all around us I went and took pictures of the Huddersfield Canal. Now this canal is over 200 years old, is 20 miles long and has

something like 74 locks. It runs from Ashton Under Lyne in Tameside all the way to Huddersfield in West Yorkshire. At one time the canal was an important route for the industries that were all around here, but building the canal would be hard work and involve building a tunnel which would be over 3 miles long and the longest canal boat tunnel in Britain. Over the years as steam power took a grip on the country the canal fell into disrepair and some parts were eventually filled in and built on. Then in 1974 an idea was turned into a reality when plans were drawn up to re-open the canal. In 2001 the canal was finally open but not before some excellent engineering feats were achieved including digging out the canal straight through Stalybridge and in particular Armentieres Square. Over the years a bus station then car park were built on the square leaving little or no sign of the canal that once ran through the square. That all changed and now it’s a wonderful scenic part of Stalybridge.

I love to walk this canal as it’s peaceful and you can see all types of wildlife. I walk from Ashton to Stalybridge quite a lot as I have family there and every time I walk along the canal there’s always something new to see.

The following pics were taken in Dec 2010/Jan 2011 as mentioned.

The canal once it reaches it’s end actually joins another canal, the Ashton Canal which links Ashton to Manchester.

Along the way you come across many canal boats like the ones below.

They are lovely don’t you think? I have never been on a narrow boat, maybe 1 day I will get the chance.

This is just 1 place I love to walk and I hope you enjoyed reading about it. As the weather improves I have lots more walks and rambles I intend to go on and want to blog about them. As you can see the area where I live is beautiful so it would be a travesty not too wouldn’t it?

Well it’s been a while. 4 months to be exact and almost to the day. What am I talking about? Well it has been 4 months since I left Sweden and came back to the UK, why? Well I had a few underlying medical needs which had to be taken care of and I had to find help in starting up in business. Sweden is a great place to be and live but I wanted to sort that out with people from the UK and abide by our laws in so far as taxes etc. came into it.

So I am back in Blighty, for the time being that is. I haven’t sat on my laurels either. Most of the medical things have been sorted out and the 1’s that haven’t are at a stage where they will be soon. As for the business well I have a business advisor who is helping me setup and I have a business account with my local bank. When I came back I needed a place to stay and stayed at a friends until I was fortunate enough to be given a small apartment. I have been living there since December now and love it. It’s nice and quiet, warm and cosy and best of all it’s mine. Well rented but you get my drift.

So yes it has been a while since I last posted something but as you can see I have been a little busy.

As for Sweden well I hope I will be going back sometime soon. I do love that part of Sweden as it’s peaceful and beautiful although a little cold right now!