Challenge completed after 195 hours of fishing

Adrian Riley has completed a sponsored challenge for charity: Pictures: Adrian Riley

Adrian Riley has completed a sponsored challenge for charity: Pictures: Adrian Riley - Credit: Archant

It's a challenge that has never been completed before, and Adrian Riley did it with two weeks to spare.

The semi-retired former research scientist, from Glebe Court, Syderstone, set out to catch all the species of coarse fish found in the British Isles, and it had to be done in a calendar year.

The 58-year-old caught all of the 26 species between January and December last year.

The sponsored challenge has so far raised about £746 for the East Anglian Air Ambulance .

Mr Riley plans to write up the story in a new non-fiction book, which will be his ninth.

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He said: 'I spent 195 hours fishing, 65 hours driving, and travelled 2337 miles. It had taken me about 200 hours planning beforehand.'

As he was raising money for an East Anglian charity, he wanted to catch most of the fish in this region, and ended up only having to travel to Hertfordshire and Somerset outside the region, to complete the task.

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He added: 'Coarse fish are anything except salmonids, which are game fish.

'There were some coarse fish species I could not catch, such as the European eel, which is an endangered species. And they all had to be caught in free water or day ticket water, which ruled out the horse fish.

'The hardest catch was a zander, which I caught in Roswell pits, Cambridgeshire. They are not very common, which makes them difficult to catch.'

After thanking the fisheries that gave him free fishing, he admitted it was a tough challenge.

'For some of the fishing trips I had to sleep in the car, and catching the zander I caught hypothermia,' he said.

He chose the EAAA because it was a charity he and wife Marian had already raised money for.

Mr Riley is a former assistant editor of the international journal The Entomologist, and a former trustee of the Norfolk Ornithologists' Association. He is presently at work on British and Irish Dragonflies: A Photographic Identification Guide.

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