‘This is my retirement plan’: Award-winning brewer bids to set up a fishery

Tim Dunford, founder of the Green Jack Brewery, who has applied to create a large fishing pond at th

Tim Dunford, founder of the Green Jack Brewery, who has applied to create a large fishing pond at the former Waveney Wildfowl Park in Ellingham. Photo: Angela Sharpe - Credit: Archant © 2007

A brewery owner is hoping to turn his life’s passion into a business venture by turning a former duck farm into a fishing pond.

Tim Dunford, 55, who founded Lowestoft-based Green Jack Brewery 26 years ago, has submitted plans to South Norfolk Council for a new pond at Waveney Wildfowl Park on Yarmouth Road, Ellingham, between Beccles and Bungay, which people could fish in by appointment only.

The former wildfowl breeding site used to supply rare ducks and fowl to farms and collectors throughout the UK and Europe but it closed in 2003 after the avian influenza epidemic.

Mr Dunford, who bought the site two years ago, caught the fishing bug aged eight after catching a roach in Oulton Broad and hopes to have around 200 fish - mainly carp and perch - in the new 2.5-acre pond.

He said: “I’ve been into fishing since I was a small boy. My two main passions in life are fishing and beer. I’m not going to be brewing forever. This is my retirement plan.

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“Fishing is nice and peaceful. It gets people out into the fresh air and countryside.”

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The businessman, who also owns the Triangle Tavern in Lowestoft, said the 10-acre site in Ellingham was overgrown with 30 small ponds, waterways and pens.

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He hopes to use these to breed fish in the future once the main fishing pond is built.

It is close to the A143, a house and campsite, Bull of the Woods Brewery in Kirby Cane and Crossways of Ellingham shop, which sells fishing equipment.

“The idea is to turn it into a fish farm rather than a duck farm. We think it is more sustainable. I’m not planning on having the fishing pond for public access. The site is going to be private,” Mr Dunford added.

If approved, the site would include 10 parking spaces, a maximum of 20 people would be able to fish in the ponds at any one time from 7am to 6pm Monday to Sunday, around six staff would be employed and there would be no changes to the main site access.

The design and access statement said: “The fishing pond will bring back business to the site which will contribute to economic wellbeing both locally, to help in promoting the area as a tourist location, along with maintaining future viability of the site, with a contribution to the local area and tourist facilities provided.”

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