Trout farm give-away: Police feared another Napoli situation

PUBLISHED: 13:55 08 September 2009 | UPDATED: 00:08 16 June 2010

A failed trout farm has given away 1,500 fish at Membury.

A failed trout farm has given away 1,500 fish at Membury.

POLICE tried to halt a trout farm give-away -fearing it could lead to another Napoli, with thousands of visitors descending on a small village.

POLICE tried to halt a trout farm give-away -fearing it could lead to another Napoli, with thousands of visitors descending on a small village.

Rockmill Trout Farm in Membury crashed in the recession and was offering 6,000 fish for free.

But police were concerned it could lead to mayhem in the village.

PC Kevin Bennett said: "Our initial concerns were that we thought we were going to be swamped with people. We thought it was going to be another Napoli - thousands of people descending on Membury - made up of about four village tracks.

"It would have been a nightmare traffic-wise. But, as it turned out, only about 100 people turned up."

Heartbroken business owners Aaron and Naomi Hopkins, both 29, closed their business at the end of Tuesday, September 8, after failing to make a profit.

They managed to give away around 1,500 fish.

The couple, who opened the business a year ago, said they preferred to give the rainbow trout away than have to bury them.

"We've tried our best to make it work, but we have lost everything," said Naomi.

"People just aren't buying trout during the recession. We have tried every supplier we can think of, but nobody wants them."

She added: "People can have them for free or give a donation.

"We don't care who has them - even restaurant owners are welcome."

All the fish had to be removed from the lake before this morning (Wednesday).


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Midweek Herald. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Midweek Herald