The woman who inspired a fisheries catchment management award for students to be set up in her memory also inspired its latest winner.

This year’s Anne Voss-Bark Memorial Award has gone to Jude Mead, who cited Anne’s high achievements in river conservation as part of his reason to apply.

A passionate fly fisher and conservationist, Anne worked tirelessly to reverse changes in the countryside that were detrimental to rivers and fish. She was also a founding member of Westcountry Rivers Trust.

Jude said: “This has been a once in a lifetime experience, doing something that I’m passionate about and which will educate me for the long-term and Anne’s story motivated me to apply.

“It’s not just about fishing though; it is about conservation for the rivers, and the wildlife that play a vital role in them.”

The Award, which supports aspiring students to gain real life experience in fisheries catchment management, has been set up by Salmon & Trout Conservation in collaboration with Westcountry Rivers Trust, the Arundell Arms and the Fario Club.

Anne built up the Arundel Arms and it has played a big part in Westcountry Rivers Trust’s history, with the charity’s original trustees gathering there to make plans.

Jude received one week’s work experience with us to gain hands-on catchment management and water science experience from our scientists; a two-day fly-fishing course; a complimentary stay at the Arundell Arms hotel; and £250.

He added: “During the week, I learnt about the farming impact on our rivers and soil, and I also learnt about invertebrates and their habitats, fish passages, catchments and providing natural obstructions such as laying trees and other vegetation into the rivers to protect salmon and trout fry from predators.”

The experience bolstered Jude’s appreciation of how caring for our rivers is crucial to keeping ecosystems stable, but also that restoration and river management will always be needed.

“River conservation is important to me because everyone has the capacity to look after our rivers for the future and for the next generation.”

Being taught how to fly fish properly by “not only experienced anglers but by really nice people that took me under their wing and showed me the ropes” has also been a highlight for Jude.

He wishes to thank Mike Green from Plymouth and District Freshwater Angling Association; Tony from Salmon & Trout Conservation; James, Ben and Jay from our Westcountry Rivers Trust River Ops team; and Anne’s son Adam and her daughter Jane who he met at the award lunch.

Photo: Jude (centre) with (pictured left) William Hicks, QC (Salmon & Trout Conservation Chairman) and Tony Bird (Salmon & Trout Conservation Exc. Vice-President).