My name is Richard Robson, formerly unemployed, and living a few miles from the M6, outside of Barrow in Furness, Cumbria.

I found a comparatively effortless way of earning money for myself, which produced around £12,500 last year.

I expect to increase this considerably as the years go by, but it has taken careful planning to get this far, and there is more to be done before I can retire and sell this interesting sideline.

About five years ago, I decided to convert a number of acres of unproductive land near my council house into a public fishing area.

I found that I could call on the Department of the Environment for free technical advice, and even for some financial
assistance with the idea, the latter enabling me to go onto the Enterprise Allowance Scheme later.

From chatting with these, the plan that resulted was for the construction of a small holding pond of about an acre in which to raise stock, and for the improvement of two quite small ‘lakes’ already on the property.

The warmer of these was to be used initially just for bass fishing with others to be added next year, and the colder lake,
which was spring fed, was to be kept stocked with trout.

A good access road had to be built from the entrance of the farm to parking spaces within easy reach of the lakes, but this was easily achieved with local gravel and cinders being laid on the relatively flat surrounding land from the local ‘A’ road.

Drinking water and toilet facilities were provided at these locations, and I found Portakabin of York particularly helpful

So, the first few months, I continued signing on as usual, but was soon taking my first money by simply leasing the lake to the local Angling Clubs, one of which I am a member, who went in together on the arrangement and paid me a nice fee for the use of the lakes by their members that season.

The next year, I established a fee of £12 per day for individual fishing on the property.

They were attracted by a large sign alongside the local main road where it approached the entrance to the land.

I also advertised – to a small extent – in the local Cumbrian newspaper until the facilities became well-known.

I make additional income through the sale of bait and fish-hooks (easily available on 90 days credit) as well as through the rental of boats, poles and fishing gear.

At busier weekends, I can charge local refreshment vans (teas and coffees, along with burgers and the like) £30 per day to park on the land.

I find that the visitors enjoy the comparative privacy which a fishing area affords and also the assurance that they are very likely to return home with some fish!

Well satisfied fishermen come back again and again as long as the season lasts and are the first to return when it comes again.

This year, I expect to earn further revenue by providing a picnic area for the convenience of families who would like a
relaxing place to wait for their fishermen to return to shore.

Doubtlessly there are innumerable ponds and lakes on farms across the entire country which could be put to profitable use in meeting the tremendous demand for privately owned fishing and recreation areas.

If I’ve done it – so can YOU!

Good luck


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