White Springs Timeline
White Springs is owned and created by a rather remarkable forward thinking gentleman and his beloved wife and now managed by his daughter and son in law. When you see the massive scale of the site, spread over 37 acres of land and the sheer size of the lakes that people fish from every day.
It would be difficult to imagine this picturesque holiday complex found in Pontarddulais near Swansea, being anything other than a totally natural occurring phenomenon. One certainly would never imagine that in fact it was totally man made and had been designed and made by one man alone.
The peace and tranquility that is White Springs today is the result of love and dedication.
In 1985 Vince was a landscape gardener and bought the 37 acre site from the local steel works. The land consisted mainly of a peat bog and he had wanted to expand and supplement his already thriving turf and landscaping business by selling the soil and reshape the landscape which was always something close to his heart.
As he started his new project little did he realise at the time that he was about to embark on a career change that would mark the start of a journey that would continue over the next twenty five years, resulting in one of the most famous UK's premier fisheries, winning awards and being voted one of the UK's top fisheries and becoming as much loved by the fishermen for his work and dedication to the site as the fishermen's love for the fish themselves.
An Idea is Born
Vince very early on discovered that the area was prone to spring wells, as this sleepy rather low valley had a naturally occurring high water table and it was realised that every time he dug a hole on the site it would be full of water the next day.
In the beginning this caused a lot of frustration for Vince as it was proving annoying when trying to extract the peat, something that he had not bargained on and didn't quite figure in with his business plans, however as the project started to take shape and not being the sort of person who doesn't find advantage with everything he does, an idea began to form and some digging later he produced the first picturesque lake which he named the Fly Lake or the Rainbow lake and a new venture was born.
Vince proudly opened White Springs as a trout farm fishery on June 1st 1987 after deciding to semi retire from his professional landscaping business, the name itself has come from the Welsh translation of PISTYLLGWYN, which was the name of his farm house at the time. He has never looked back. Even today you might see him on his favourite JCB on site as he refuses to retire and loves building. (Picture shown was taken around 2010 and was before the Pit and Canal lakes were merged)
TimeLine Years 1987 - 2000
1987 - The Original lake named the Rainbow Trout Lake or the Fly Lake as it was also known as, was built and stocked with rainbow trout. (which is now the top half of Specimen Lake)
1989 - Vince constructed the Brown Trout lake (This lake has now been joined with the original Rainbow Lake to form the Specimen Lake and would be the lake where the island is currently on )
1988/9 - The current Pleasure Lake was formed and stocked with trout this was then known as the Any Method Lake.
1989/90 - Construction started on the Main building complex which then contained the Apartments, Licensed bar (now closed), Pool Room, Washrooms, Showers and Tackle Shop.
Over the next decade or so the trout fishing was the main fishing that was being done here and Vince decided to develop his own growing ponds to ensure that his stock of trout was always of the highest quality and he built two lakes to accommodate this, these became known as simply 'the holding ponds' from which he managed his own stock of trout. Later on he would join these two lakes together to form the now New Match Lake. With landscaping still being very much part of him and also his want to make the site accessible to all, he started to design and build the infrastructure to the roads and access to the swims firmly with disabled access in mind and in doing so he laid the foundations for the White Springs site as we know it today.
TimeLine Years 2000-2003
2000 - Vince created a reservoir to feed the stock/growing ponds (later to become the Ornamental pond or the duck pond stocked with large Koi carp)
2001 - Coarse Fishing was introduced into White Springs, the reason was a reservoir nearby was being closed and the fish that were part of the reservoir would have died unless they found a new home, so Vince and Steve his son stepped in to rescue the fish and made headlines in the newspapers in doing so.
2002 - The stock/growing ponds were joined together in the spring to form the New Match Lake and the stock from the Any Method Lake was moved to it. The Any Method lake was then converted to Coarse Fishing only and renamed the Pleasure Lake.
2002/3 The Coarse fish were thriving in the lakes due to the quality of the water there and demand for more pegs left Vince with no choice but to get the JCB out again.
TimeLine Years 2003-2009
2003/4 - The Old Pit Lake was created and opened in 2004 also Vince improved on the infrastructure and roadways to the swims making it more disabled friendly than ever before.
2004 - The fishery converted completely to Coarse Fishing only due to overwhelming demand for the Coarse Fishing pegs and the fact that the fish were doing extremely well in the spring water and were thriving.
2004/5 - The Old Canal Lake was created and has now become famous for its specimen perch attracting the likes of Matt Hayes and 5 lb+ perch are common from here.
2005 - Due to the success of the Old Canal, the New Canal lake was also opened to keep up with demand. It was during this year the the Fishery received the honour of being voted UK's top Coarse Fishery.
2005/6 - Vince joined the two lakes formally known as the Fly Lake and the Brown Trout Lake to form the Specimen Lake.
2007/8 - Improved access to the swims and roads.
2009 - Work started on building 3 Scandinavian Log Cabins.
TimeLine Years 2010
2012 Widened New Canal and The Pit lakes roads and access. Focus was made on making more swims accessible to the disabled angler and providing cleaner and less muddy swims for everyone. Islands were cleaned up and de-snagged and major landscaping was undertaking with many new plants added to improve the scenery.
2013 Work started on New Canal swims to rebuild and reinforce the swims with Gabian baskets, over a 1000 tonnes of gravel was used just in the New Canal area alone to produce better access to the swim along with drainage and road widening for easier access. Work on improving roadside access continued on the rest of the site and a new Static caravan was introduced.
The Big Pit lake was formed by digging out and combining the Old Canal and the Pit lake into one larger lake to provide a more unique fishing experience, it was then restocked with 250 x 9lb to 14lb carp and 50 x 17/18lb carp
2014 Major lake de-snagging operation starts, this was to improve safety of the fish and lakes for the fishery and fisherman alike. Roads and swim access were continually improved and log cabins revamped and double glazing doors and windows added to replace the original wood frames.
In 2015 a lakeside cabin on peg 8 on the Specimen lake was added.
The Pleasure Lake was de-snagged and swim platforms improved or rebuilt.
Additional parking areas were built.
The Tackle shop was revamped and top brands stocked including Nash, Korda, Preston, Middy, Guru, Korum, Mainline, Sensas, Dynamite, Sonubaits, Drennan and BBR with many more not mentioned.
12 Fish added to Specimen Lake from 26lb to 34lb including 7 Common and 5 Mirror.
To date this massive Coarse Fishery now boasts 5 large lakes and is now rated one of the top Coarse Fisheries in the UK and has held prestigious titles such as the Welsh Carp Record, one of the Top 50 Fishing Sites to visit and one year they voted UK's Top Coarse Fishery by the Anglers Mail .
To think that at one time this was a large peat field with an old steel works water pumping station on site seems hard to imagine and when you think that this magnificent fishery was the vision of one man and his wife, then and only then you can start to imagine why Vince and his family are as well loved as they are within the fishing world.
(Picture is Vince shown with his grandson.)