Redmire Pool has been taken off the market and will undergo a dramatic revamp.
The iconic water had been placed on the market by landowners the Richardson family last year.
But we can reveal the Richardsons, who have run the estate for more than 30 years, are now committed to its future and have begun a conservation project.
Fisheries scientist Mark Walsingham, who runs Ashmead in Somerset, will oversee the plan.
He said: “Redmire is rapidly dying, and it needs tender loving care to restore it.
“I’ve been working alongside the Richardson family for three or four years, working on the conservation of the estate and pools whilst creating a plan.
“The family’s children have now decided that they want to keep the estate for another generation and revive the lake, with a vision of bringing it back to its former glory.
“There are a number of problems at Redmire, and de-silting is a major aspect of the work. It’s an invasive process and care must be taken as there’s always a risk to the fish.
“To prevent future silt build-up, numerous silt traps will be installed, and the agricultural ground surrounding the lake will be used for grazing as opposed to farming.
“We will also inspect the dam to make sure it’s sound and secure, and plans are in place to otter-fence the fishery to protect the stock.
“All of this work is as much about preserving the fish as it is the lake. As such, the rogue ghost carp that ended up in the water will be removed, as will any fish that aren’t in photographs from 14 years ago.
“This will ensure that the remaining stock will be from the true Galician carp bloodline of Donald Leney’s stocking all those years ago.
“We also have to sustain the element of mystery at Redmire, so only a select few will be around for the netting process.
“If this all goes right no one will say a word - if it goes wrong people will be saying Mark Walsingham ruined Redmire! Fingers crossed it will lead to another 50 glorious years!
Les Bamford, who is set to continue running the fishery, said: “I’m really pleased all of this is going to happen.
“This will be my 30th year managing the water, and I’m absolutely over the moon!”
Work is set to begin in September, with venue bookings continuing until then. For more information, visit www.redmirepool.biz/bookings
What Chris Yates had to say…
“I’m delighted that it’s Mark who’s overseeing the work as, not only can he look after the science, he also has the experience and spirit to do the job well.
“I first met him when he was 16. I took him to a carp water with his split-cane rod, and his enthusiasm and intelligence stood out, even at that early age.
“I was addicted to the idea of Redmire before I ever fished it, so it’s wonderful to think one of my friends is involved with the conservation of such a special place.
“It’ll never be the same again in a sense, because so much has changed and you can’t repeat history. However, it could be returned to its old potential if the stock was kept low and the problems were solved.
“Irresponsible farming with pesticides has had an effect on the weed growth and therefore the natural food. It was always very weedy – many claimed it was unfishable when I fished it, but it was always exciting seeing a huge carp glide through the weed!
“Depth is also very important, and this will be regained during the work. The main thing is to get the lake back to something like it once was, and if conditions are right it could produce something very special.
“It’s an extraordinary place, I had so many epic adventures at Redmire.”
Timeline of Redmire carp
- 1930 Lieutenant Colonel E Barnardiston buys Bernithan Court estate and stocks the lake with trout
- 1934 50 Galician carp up to 8ins long are stocked by Donald Leney to clear the weed
- 1950 A carp, weighing 6lb, is caught by local man John Munro
- 1951 A carp weighing 31lb 4oz is caught by Bob Richards
- 1952 A British-record carp, Clarissa/Ravioli, is caught at a weight of 44lb by Dick Walker
- 1980 A carp of 51lb 8oz, known as the Bishop, is caught by Chris Yates though never officially claimed as a record