As most fish farmers of my generation, I started my career aged 17, as a YTS trainee working at Chalk Springs Fishery, on the Duke of Norfolk’s Estate in Arundel, West Sussex, while attending Sparsholt College in Hampshire.
The site was an old watercress farm that, in 1984, had just started to be converted into a trout farm and fishery. The experience gained here of constructing ponds and lakes, rearing restocking fish and dealing with fisherman would prove invaluable in later life. In 1989 I accepted a job offer to manage a hatchery site at Horn Mill in Rutland. This was an old Water Authority hatchery which had subsequently become privately owned and produced Salmon smolts for a couple of years. This had proved unsuccessful, and in 1989 was bought by Roger Daltrey and became part of his Timpany Ltd group of fish farms. Subsequently, over a period of 7 years we produced up to 2.5 million rainbow trout fingerlings per year, mostly for the large table farms in southern England, and 40-50,000 8-12 oz fish for ongrowing on 2 other farms in the company. In 1997, after several years searching for a suitable site, my wife and I bought 5 acres of land bordering the river Gwash in Ryhall and after a year obtaining planning permission and Environment Agency Licences we began building the farm.
Over 17 years later i am proud of the business we have created and i am constantly looking for ways to improve the quality and service we provide to our customers.