Bid to clamp down on illegal anglers
ILLEGAL fishermen have started fires at a beauty spot, threatened council officials who tried to get them to go and seriously injured a dog.
Epsom and Ewell Council Rangers mounted a joint operation with Surrey Police and Environment Agency officials at ponds in Horton Country Park.
The raids, over the weekend of July 30 and 31, are being followed by warning letters, pointing out that a £500 fine could be the next measure against offenders.
An Epsom and Ewell Council spokesman said: “None of those questioned had rod licences and all were breaking ‘no fishing’ bylaws.
“There has been litter and discarded fishing lines, which endanger wildlife, along with fires and threats of physical violence to rangers and golf course staff patrolling the area.
“Warning letters are being sent out. Offenders risk prosecution under the Country Park bylaws, which entail fines of up to £500.”
Councillor Jean Steer, leisure committee chairman, said: “Horton Country Park ponds are being ruined by piles of litter and fires.
“Many discarded fishing lines and hooks are a danger to wild birds and pets and a dog has also been injured.”
This is the second time fishermen have become a nuisance in the area.
So many descended on Burgh Heath pond, camping and leaving litter, that Banstead Downs conservators removed and relocated the fish.