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Winter Fishing Lake Pictures in the Snow
Les Rouvets Lake in the Snow
The following gallery of pictures shows a very rare event in Guernsey, and that is snow. Due to being so far south of the UK mainland we seldom have snow in the Channel Islands, and when we do it is rare that it settles for more than a few hours before it begins to melt. The last time we had a significant amount of snow was back in 2009, and even then it only lasted a few days. Fortunately on the first day I woke up very early, and I immediately armed myself with a camera and headed up to the lake in order to get as many photos as possible before the snow could melt or become ruined by footprints. These photos, both black and white and in colour are the results of my efforts that day. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
We are very lucky here in the Channel Island of Guernsey because my Husband and myself lease and run one of the only fishing lakes on the island. When we found Les Rouvets Lake it had been neglected for many years, and as a result it was surrounded by brambles well over chest height, and which extended over the water by at least six feet. I immediately saw the potential to convert this lake into a coarse fishing lake, although clearly there was going to be a huge amount of work involved if this lake was ever going to be restored to a standard that would be required to interest anglers in fishing it.
I had to work long and hard to persuade my family that this project was a good idea, and even when I did finally convince them there was potential in the idea, I still had to convince the owner of the land to lease us the lake at all. Initially when we approached him he was not interested in renting out the land, and seemed quite content to leave the lake surrounded by undergrowth, forgotten by most of the islanders. I found this situation extremely frustrating because I had already become obsessed with the idea of restoring the lake to how it had appeared in the 1960s - 1980s when my Sister had attended school with the daughter of the man who had originally created this fishing lake from scratch. Building a fishing lake is a major task, but Colonel Wootton had wanted to do this as part of a tourist attraction he owned known as 'The Tropical Gardens' or 'The Tropical Vineries'. Colonel Wootton also wanted the lake to be a trout fishing venue (and for many years it was).
Snowy Lake Pictures (My Photos)
Snowy Lake in Black and White (My Own Photos)
Eventually Colonel Wootton and his family had moved away from Guernsey, and his land and the lake had been sold on. At a later time it was again sold on to yet a third owner, and whilst he kept the lake in reasonable condition for some years, eventually other commitments prevented him from having the time needed to maintain the lake and the immediately surrounding lands. Subsequently he allowed the lake to become overgrown and largely forgotten, that is until we found the lake again and I set my heart on returning it to how it had looked in the early days (only now with far more established trees and shrubs surrounding it).
It took a couple of months after we initially contacted the current owner for him to eventually come back to us to say he would be interested in leasing us the lake and surrounding land (I think he took pity on me when he saw how enthusiastic I was about the project and its potential). Excited and yet terrified at the same time, we managed to negotiate an agreement for a five year renewable lease, and so the adventure and the challenge began.
Snowy Lake Pictures Mixed (My Own Photos)
Since we took on the lake we not only restored it, but we went several steps further and improved the lake by adding decked wooden fishing swims, grass seeding the large areas that were simply compressed soil and creating areas perfect for anglers to erect bivvies (small tents) on in order to allow overnight fishing. We even added a considerable amount of Carp up to weights well in excess of 30 pounds. The Carp species added included Common, Grass, Linear, Leather, Koi and Mirrors, which were of course in addition to the abundant Rudd, Roach and eels that already populated the lake.
Today the lake is unrecognisable as the overgrown jungle it was when we took on the project, and I still get a huge sense of pride whenever we walk around what has now become one of the most beautiful places in Guernsey, full of wildlife, natural beauty and sense of peace that is hard to find anywhere in today's busy world.
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