Tench Heritage Alliance (THA) Information

Aims and Objectives:

  • To educate and share knowledge of tench and tench fishing
  • To raise the profile of tench fishing
  • To protect existing tench fisheries
  • To encourage the promotion of tench fisheries
  • To work with existing national and regional bodies
  • To lobby and encourage appropriate bodies to consider the role of tench as a valuable asset to their fisheries

(Please click on the above diagram to see it in more detail.)

The THA – What is it and where are we now ?
Ian Peacock

The title is posed as a question because, as with most embryonic initiatives, the concept evolves over time. We began in 2014 as a ‘tench dating agency’ whereby we put appropriate clubs/associations in touch with a reputable tench breeder who had fish available to good homes. We have now become a more mature and knowledgeable group with our first major project well underway.

For clarity, the THA is a sub-group within The Tenchfishers that reports to the main committee and seeks approval for all finance from the membership. It was formed to provide a focus on the future of tench and tench fishing and also to demonstrate to our membership that there is vision and aspiration rather than just an ever-healthy bank balance. I am pleased to say we have received strong support from all involved.

The sad death of a much respected member became a catalyst for us to try to achieve the regeneration of Sywell as a tench fishery. The focus of this tangible project, with tremendous support from all areas, enabled us to start building our template and structures for moving ahead to other suitable waters once we have completed the next stage at Sywell. The ‘Alliance’ component of the title was deliberately included as I believe the only pathway to success for a relatively small, voluntary group such as ourselves, is through the knowledge and support of other larger organisations. Such linkages, however, are forged only by demonstrable integrity leading to trust and respect. These we have earned and thus we are able to carefully make the next steps on our journey.

It is evident that we have evolved a series of alliances, contacts and a knowledge base all of which will evolve over time but represent a tangible step forward for the future of the THA.

Some notable points:

We have currently three sources of fish:

  • The Environment Agency (EA)
  • Approved breeders. It is worth noting that there are many suppliers of tench, just get onto Google and type the word ‘suppliers’ is worth dwelling on as many of the wonderful offers are for what we term as ‘second hand tench’. These are fish netted/obtained from often unknown waters and offered for sale with appropriate documentation. The downside is that their history, age, health etc. is uncertain and therefore a much higher risk to any fishery receiving them. We collectively felt that any project associated with the group should have the best credentials in keeping with our reputation and values. To support this we decided to only use or recommend fish breeders who we have contacted and visited to satisfy ourselves that the supplier is both a tench enthusiast and has facilities willing to show and explain.
  • Finally our stock pond at Medway Valley Fisheries in Snodland, Kent where we currently have around 300 fish being grown on.

For any future projects there needs to be a template for not only the means of supplying and protecting fish but the suitability of the water in question. For example: accessibility for all to fish, tench fishing history, suitability of venue and much more. Based on our work at Sywell we have developed a detailed document for us to capture both our criteria and those of any future project proposals.

And finally… success criteria will always be difficult to measure as our intention to improve the numbers and size of tench in a water will depend on a myriad of uncontrollable elements. So when things are not quite going quite to plan or negative thoughts start to prevail I return to my two key thoughts:

  1. At least we are trying to make a change!
  2. If we don’t do something then who will?