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Work to start on restoring lake to its former glory

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Paul Carr, a regular fisherman at Drinkwater Park Lake since he was a boy, helps clear the water in a bid to restore it to former glory

One of Greater Manchester’s finest fishing lakes is to be restored to its former glory by the Forestry Commission and volunteers.

Drinkwater Park Lake, in Prestwich, was once one of the best fishing venues in the area attracting fishermen from across the city.

Fish stocks have fallen in the lake – known affectionately to locals as ‘Drinkies’ – but the Forestry Commission has now taken over management of the site.

Phil Lee, Forest Ranger for the area, said: 

“Generations of families have visited and fished at the lake and we want to return it to the standards of fishing that were there before.”

The 1.4-hectare lake has a decent stock of jack pike and tiny perch, but the numbers of roach, tench, carp and rudd are low.

Over the next year the Forestry Commission, working with the Salford Friendly Anglers Society, has a series of jobs planned including netting excess silver fish in the neighbouring Kingfisher Lake and moving them to Drinkwater.

The Environment Agency – which is also supporting the project – is considering moving crucian carp from its fish farm at Calverton to the lake in order to help boost fish stocks.

Salford Friendly Anglers Society – Britain’s oldest fishing club – are planning to raise funds in 2012 to help pay for the restocking of the lake by holding a series of fishing matches.

They also want to create new fishing pegs and restore the existing ones.

Mike Duddy, chairman for the Salford Friendly Anglers Society, said:

“We hope to have Drinkwater back to its best within two years and then use it to encourage more young people from the area to take up angling.

“Statistics show fishing can help young people engage with the environment rather than engage with a playstation. It can also help them to make friends and stay calm as well as reduce anti social behaviour so the improvements we are making could make a real difference to the area.”

Notes to editors

  1. The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment.  Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands.  Further information can be found at

  2. Salford Friendly Anglers Society are Britain’s oldest fishing club formed in 1817 when you could join and enjoy the benefits of being in a Friendly Society. They have 250 members including high court judges and several pop stars. Further information can be found at

Media Contact: Andrew Moores on 01606 888111 or Richard Topley, of the Forestry Commission, on 01606 324909.