Sales executive reels in eager anglers at housing development

Nov 18, 2017

Ever since he started working at Taylor Wimpey’s Willow Lake in Newton Leys around five years ago, Andy Graves has taken a keen interest in the lake there, which is more than 200 metres long, 150 metres wide and is believed to be up to 75 feet deep.

Learning that the lake had been stocked with fish since the 1950s but that it had not been fished in a very long time, Andy made it his personal project to oversee management of the lake and restore it to its former glory.

Now, the lake has generated more than £2,000 for local good causes by charging admission for anglers who are eager to fish in its waters.

Pictured: Andy Graves with Viv Shears from VS Fisheries, delivering the new fish.

“When Taylor Wimpey bought the land on which the development is built, they also bought the lake,” says Andy. “My idea of restoring the lake was all about putting it back into the hands of the community and now there are around 36 anglers who regularly use it.

“I had to start pretty much from scratch but now the lake has really been brought back to life and is teeming with carp, pike, roach, bream and tench, to name but a few.”

The new fish stock was delivered to the lake earlier this month and Andy hopes the shoals will entice anglers from far and wide who are hoping to hook a common carp, some of which weigh in at up to 40lbs.

“We have received great feedback about the lake from both local anglers and people living on development, some of whom also fish there,” says Andy. “It is a unique aspect to the development and gets people in the fishing community travelling from all over the country so it is really fantastic to see that my idea has come off so well.

“I just hope I manage to find some time to get down to the lake and do some angling of my own.”

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