Stamford Way Fisheries has come a long way... a dream of a fishery with camping and a cafe finally made into reality by proprietor James Woodcock and has been a rocky ride to say the least.
James purchased the land in 2009 before putting in planning permission to FCC, which included demolishing an old derelict cattle shed intended to be replaced with a bespoke building for an on-site bistro/ancillary tackle shop, however, numerous setbacks where encountered which resulted in lengthy delays lasting almost a decade.
A Planning Inspector in Cardiff finally backed the scheme in 2018 with permission granted to the fishery to include 2 pools (named Twin Oaks) with 41 pegs, a touring caravan site with 28 pitches and a licensed bistro 'Castle Cafe Bistro' - a relieved James then pressed ahead with preparations to make it all happen.
After a tremendous amount of effort, construction and considerable financial cost, the business finally opened its gates on 29th January 2020, then barely two months in, covid struck. As we're all aware, many businesses including Stamford Way Fisheries were forced to shut, for what was assumed to be a few weeks, turned into many months with no sign of returning to normality any time soon.
As James recalls, it was a dark and soul-destroying time, barely managing to stay afloat through an unprofitable period by selling food and drink from the bistro and doing what he could. Thankfully he refused to throw in the towel and during the pandemic, kept his spirits up by fishing, tending his pools and when restrictions were somewhat relaxed, James organised and hosted a charity fishing festival for the local Deeside Community Hospital raising £2,000.
It was a long 18 months or so before things started to move again, more recently with developments being resumed in upgrades to the interior of the cafe that has been decorated to the highest standard along with the installation of modern high-end facilities. What makes us quite unique is that the bistro has a licence to serve alcohol, you'll always find the display fridge well stocked with beers, mixers, and other refreshing drinks to enjoy - visit the Castle Cafe Bistro page to learn more.
Within the bistro entrance there is a small ancillary tackle shop where you can sign in and purchase tickets to fish the pools, book for matches, purchase tackle, bait and a range of quality branded clothing which has already proved in demand for our resident anglers and those visiting for competitions.
April 2022 saw the commissioning of a local web design business that are helping with the online aspect of advertising with a new website, marketing, and social media assistance, freeing up a lot of time for James to concentrate on the everyday running of the business.
Further upgrades early in May 2022 included electric hook ups being installed on the campsite, the construction of a waste disposal point and a brand-new campsite shower block and toilets, also a pattern imprint concrete walkway and dress stone to surround the cafe.
A whopping 500 laurels were planted around the campsite, to eventually provide a lush green border offering peace and privacy to campers. Three generations of the Woodcock family assisted in the planting, all within just a matter of days, it was quite some undertaking, very hard work but with few complaints.
The end of May saw further renovations with the installation of solar panels on the cafe roof. The campsite was prepared for opening on the Jubilee weekend, with pitches reserved well in advance. A busy summer followed!
James has a dedicated eco-friendly ethos towards the management and running of the fishery in general, bistro food is sourced locally (where possible) including fresh meats and cakes from local suppliers and only non-bio waste disposal is permitted.
James would like to add that Stamford Way Fisheries and Campsite is not your average run of the mill CL site, quality services and facilities are offered at the highest standards, including pitches for 28 touring caravans, motorhomes or trailer tents. The twin pools are carefully tended and heavily stocked with a healthy mix of Common Carp, Mirror Carp and F1's with the possible introduction of Ide during 2023.
The Woodcock family have put a tremendous amount of time, effort, and cost into making the site what it is today. Following our first year of opening in 2022 we are still learning and adjusting to make things better, and would ask that you please bear this in mind during your visit/stay. Good customer satisfaction is paramount, your in-person feedback is important in our understanding of how we're doing to enable us to better adjust to getting things right and to improve as we go along - our aim being to ensure that you want to revisit and be happy to recommend us to others.
James and the staff are approachable and will always make themselves available for a chat to discuss any aspects of the fishery and campsite, so feel free to call in or alternatively pick up the phone or email us to arrange an appointment.
You will find all the information you need on our website, otherwise, just get in touch and we will be happy to answer your questions. We hope to welcome you at Stamford Way Fisheries and 'Castle Cafe' soon!
Just a few pics of the work done so far! Lots more can be found on our facebook group.