Forces CARP marches on

The Forces CARP programme continued in earnest over the spring, hosting sessions at Q Lake in North Yorkshire and Thorpe Lea in Surrey to introduce injured, wounded and sick veterans to the sport of carp fishing.

Co-founder of Forces CARP and ex-soldier Simon Bangert said: “During our session at Q Lake we were joined by Brian Skoyles, who gave up his time to give our participants one-to-one coaching on surface fishing, and even in less-than-convincing surface-fishing conditions all our participants managed to catch.

“We then headed to Thorpe Lea Fishery, where we were joined by three veterans all with a keen interest in angling, and two wanting to get back into the sport after many years away from the rods. It was, however, a very testing session, as the temperature peaked at 30°C and the fish proved more than a match for our mentors, who worked tirelessly in the savage sun to get them feeding.

“Persistence paid off and eventually John and Will were rewarded with fish during the late evening off the surface, with John catching again in the early hours. Again, the session proved successful with our participants taking away more than fishing-related positives, as being around other guys who have been through similar situations was of huge benefit, and we’re honoured to be able to facilitate such a positive impact on our veterans.

“We’d like to extend our thanks to Q Lake and Thorpe Lea Fishery for hosting us and to Brian for his help and support. Also a huge thanks to our volunteers for their assistance and support, as without them our sessions wouldn’t run.”

Two further UK sessions are scheduled later in the year at Wyreside Fishery in Lancashire and the Monument One in Shropshire, culminating in a week-long trip to Lac Baleine in France. More information about the project and the dates of the sessions are available at

Brian Skoykes with veteran John Newcombe

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