A couple of months ago our fishermen were down to the "levels " that back the estuary looking for potential "Ream" for our nets . The lane we visited was a discrace with rubbish dumped on it and in the reen We spent hours cleaning up the mess............ Today we went there to cut some Reams as we do in the winter......... What a mess again ,some people just don't care
It's that time of year again for harvesting willow "Reams " , arms for the lave net down on the caldicot Levels . The pollarded trees grow close to the many "Reens " which drain the land . Winter time the sap is down and this is the best time to take the branches from the top of the tree. The bark is stripped and Reams left to dry in our net house ready for net frame repairs.
A beautiful winters day and a visit of 84 children to our fishery ........ A credit to the school they were engaging and keen to learn about our fishery and the estuary . We set out little " islands" with different subjects and each was enjoyed by the visitors ! A rewarding experience for all involved on the day
Eighty four children will visit our fishery to day to learn about the estuary and our lave nets . We set out islands with net making , finds , net knitting ,closed methods of fishing and demonstrate how we use the net. To end we talk about the scourge of plastic on the estuary.
A link to the past are the "finds" at low tide in the close season . Winter time usually turns up a few ! Yesterday we found this ink bottle , over a hundred years old......... A link to past users of the estuary and surrounding area Our finds will be displayed in our net house in season and taken to any exhibitions we do . Groups that visit us at Black rock are always amazed at what we find.......
Winter time is when our fishermen source the wood to make and repair our lave nets .The skill and knowledge to do this has been passed down through the generations . The sap is down now and we harvest Ash from the woods behind the "Levels " and willow from down on the "Levels " from the pollarded trees that grow along the reens . We also gather withy (thin willow ) from our small plantation close to our base . This is an important part of our heritage and we pass these skill
Black rock lave net fishermen Matt & Martin entered this years Cod comp . It was hard going out there with the fishing being poor for most boats........ The shocking catch of the day was endless sewerage / man made materials on the fishing lines. how much is out there ...........A shocking legacy
Our life on the estuary is built around the lave netting . That is the mortar that holds the group together. Part of maintaining a presence on the estuary whilst we wait for the lave net season to begin is the "Winter cod season ". Some of our group are very active in this . This is a very restrictive fishery on the estuary as it is only practical to fish on certain tides....... some years there can be good runs of fish ,other years it can be poor ,but that's fishing !
Our unique fishery is on the Wales coastal path . Folk walking the path can in season watch the fishing and interact with the fishermen who always make time to do so . We also have information boards with fishing times on site. Our net house has information boards and examples of past fishing methos within . Our fishermen can also some days be seen making and repairing lave nets in the net house. Great to feature on this Monmouthshire tourism informatin print !