Local HeroesPeople

Alan Henshaw BEM

Congratulations to long term Mapperley resident Alan Henshaw, on receiving the British Empire Medal for services to the Environment Fisheries.

Alan was presented with the award earlier but attended the celebration garden party at Buckingham Palace today.

As team leader at the National Coarse Fish Rearing Unit in Calverton, the award was for his dedicated service to the Environment Agency in ensuring that fish stocks are maintained in our rivers and lakes.

The British Empire Medal (BEM) is awarded for an achievement or contribution of a very “hands-on” service to the community in a local geographical area.

Here’s his medal

Important Environmental Work

Alan is the team leader at the Environment Agency’s Calverton Fish Farm in Nottingham. The farm is a crucial part of the Environment Agency’s toolkit for improving fisheries around the country. In 2016 they stocked approximately 400,000 fish, made up of 9 species: Barbel – Bream – Chub – Roach – Dace – Rudd – Tench – Crucian carp – Grayling

In 2016, Alan wrote an article for the Countryfile Magazine

Here at the National Coarse Fish Rearing Unit in Calverton, Nottinghamshire, we raise and stock out approximately 500,000 fish each year. These fish restock rivers and lakes throughout the length and breadth of England.

Calverton Fish Farm from the air in 2016.

Photo credit: environmentagency.blog.gov.uk

Statutory Duty

All this work is funded entirely with rod licence income and the fish are stocked out as part of the Environment Agency’s statutory duty to maintain and develop fisheries in England. We currently produce 9 separate species of fish: grayling, dace, chub, bream, barbel, roach, rudd, crucian carp and tench. As well as these fish, we also produce and release many millions of young fry back into the rivers and lakes from where we originally collected the adult fish.

To achieve these results, there are many different parts of the process that we have to control. The sole aim of Calverton is to produce high-quality, fit-for-purpose fish that can cope with life in the wild.

It takes approximately 18 months to rear our fish to a size where we can stock them out into rivers and lakes. All of the Calverton stocks are reared in semi-natural ponds that have lots of natural food, habitat and plenty of flowing water. This ensures that our fish are fit enough to live in the rivers and that they can face the challenges that come from life in the wild.

Second year crucian carp and rudd reared at the Calverton fish farm.

Photo credit Environment Agency

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