Haven’t T Times Changed?
My family bought Handley Barns Farm on August 4, 1978.A substantial valley on site provided a golden opportunity to build what is now the Main Lake at Fryerning.
Between 1982 and1984, as the lake slowly filled, I stocked our first carp from a small pond which is now known as the moated rearing lake, which is now 10 times bigger. Currently it is home to many 30s, reared on site, especially for restocking our lakes.
By 1986 the main lake was full (30 million gallons), fed by a small underground spring. The next carp to be introduced were three-inch Koi from Japan and, in 1986, the Main Lake was opened for angling.
From 1987 to1992 I brought as many carp as I could afford. This went on for what seemed like years due to the size of the water. In 1994 I contacted a new magazine called Carp Talk and spoke to an enthusiastic young gentleman you all know now as Chris Ball. We had an ad in issue No 6, so that will tell you how long we’ve been working together.
A major influence in carp fishing, Mark Simmons, supplied our first 50 or so Mirrors.
In 2000 I had the idea of the Valley Lake complex, designed with the help of Chris Ball, and member Jim Gibbinson. By 2001 we’d started excavating and built the hatchery and growing-on facility. We then completed a further 10 stock ponds.
The complex now has 11 stock and growing ponds and three Syndicate waters, all carp. Not being ones to rest on our laurels, we have plans to build two more lakes, one at 7.5 acres and the other 1.5 acres, plus two environmental ponds, subject to getting the green light from the council.
Anyway, those Koi we stocked back in 1986 now go to 35lb+ and Mark’s Mirrors go to 45lb+, and our original home-grown Common Carp are currently reaching 42lb
it’s only taken 33 years up to now with help from all of the above, we now can say HAPPY DAYS.