THE owners of a natural beauty spot are keen to start afresh after a troubled 18 months.
Frisby Lakes is back in the hands of the Cowman family after Celtic Lakes, who took over the running of the water park in May 2011, left last month.
Celtic Lakes had a grand vision for the site with planning permission for 56 holiday lodges and pledged to invest £13.5million over five years.
The Cowman family have owned the former gravel pits for 70 years and, with the help of new fishery manager Mark Slade and his wife Anita, are keen to rewind the clock.
Nona Pollard (nee Cowman) said: “We have drawn a line under the past. We are not looking to the future at the moment, just concentrating on the present.
“As a family we are working with Mark now and focussing on bringing the lakes back to life and getting our fishing community back up and running.”
There are no immediate plans to invite back Melton Mowbray Sailing Club who were ordered out by Celtic Lakes in September.
There will still be no public access to the privately-owned 100-acre site because of security issues and the costs of public liability insurance.
But the new management are keen to rebuild bridges with the local community.
Mark said: “We’ve had no animosity over public access so far. I have just explained that it’s about public liability and everyone has understood.
“We are not here to make enemies. I have an open door policy and I’m always here if people want to talk.”
Mark has plans to expand the tackle shop and recently restocked the main lake with carp.
He has persuaded nationally-respected angler Ed Betteridge to act as head coach, while TV angler Mick Brown and angling journalist Sean Harrison have also taken coaching sessions.
Mark is also keen to promote angling to a wider audience and wants to attract school visits, disabled anglers as well as servicemen suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder.
He added: “It’s a good place for them to come and have peace and quiet. It’s not just the lakes, we have woodland here, too.
“We are all family-orientated people and want it to be a family-run traditional English fishery.”
l For more information visit www.frisbylakes.co.uk