A fishery is in danger of being closed down and its land used for possible houses or factories.

The owners of Willows Lodge fishery in Dickens Street, Blackburn, have now been given the task to save the fishery and make it publicly usable and beneficial.

Members of the community have come together over the years to try and tackle the weed and the greenery overtaking the lake, but said they have had no luck in maintaining this.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Arran Cottam, co-owner of the lodge, said: “This place is a true hidden gem and our plans are to make this a free and accessible fishery for ALL once funds and the support permit us to do so.

“We will be going down throughout the holidays to try and do as much as we can, but it’s too big of a job for three people. We are also going to set up a GoFundMe to see if we can generate support that way.

“We have had diggers priced to drag the bank and a weed boat to come in and clear the lake, so general repair costs have come up to a total of £3,000.

"We hope to raise this money over the next year to get this fishery to where it needs to be once and for all, and any support, physical, verbal or financially would be very much appreciated."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Arran and his fellow owners are now looking for volunteers to help them try and clear the lake, cut back shrubbery and do something to stop it growing back.

The jobs which need doing also include weeding the lake, general repair of pegs, and general clean-up of the fishery.

Tools and boating equipment can be provided if needed, and anyone who helps out at the lodge will be given a lifetime free pass to fish in the lake.

The owners of the lodge are also hosting a large work party this Tuesday, August 1, with the ‘180 Project’.

The 180 Project are a rehabilitation programme who work with recovering addicts and offenders in Lancashire, recieving free fishing and community enrichment days in return for their help on the lodge.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Arran added: "We took over the lodge around two years ago when it was called the 'The Auld Lodge', but had some issues during Covid-19 which meant the lodge was over-run with weed and foliage.

"Post Covid-19, my co-owner Joe Golding sadly lost his daughter. The lodge has been the only thing to keep him going and as a promise to his daughter's memory, we re-opened Willows Lodge as a charitable organisation that gives free enrichment to the community.

"Since then we have given many homeless people a temporary shelter, allowing them to sleep in the cabin that resides on the lodge and enabled many disabled people, elderly and youngsters a place to relax and enjoy something new and refreshing in Blackburn.

"Going forward we want to make Willows Lodge an affordable activity that the whole community can enjoy. We plan on having free coaching for children and recruiting some members of the 180 Project to carry out coaching licences to give back to the community."