'I'm just here fishing': Northampton man pitched next to Saints ground says he is not harming anyone

Chris's tent in St James pictured as Saints players train in the background.
Chris's tent in St James pictured as Saints players train in the background.

A Northampton man who has been pitched up next to the Saints training ground this week says there is nothing to worry about - he's only fishing.

This week dog walkers visiting Sharman Lake in St James have contacted the Chronicle and Echo to express concerns for a man they have seen camping close to the footpath by the Northampton Saints training pitches.

The borough council's outreach team have been out to visit the man at his makeshift camp this week to offer him overnight accommodation.

But the man, who only wanted to be known as Chris, aged 34, said there was nothing to worry about - as he is only fishing in the lake.

He said: "I am single and I have been raised in a country with nature all around me.

"I am not living here I am just camping and fishing.

"If I was living here I would have more stuff with me."

When the Chron went to visit Chris, who moved to Northampton nine years ago, he said he was between jobs and accommodation.

Rather than take up residence in an emergency bed and breakfast, he told us he would rather sleep under the stars.

He said he was only catching then releasing fish for sport - not for food - which is legal at the lake without a permit, and said he had a new job and home to go to next week.

"I'm just doing this for sport - it's my hobby. I have been fishing all of my life."

Chris said his time at Sharman Lake has even made him consider reviving a fishing club there, as he said the stocks of pike have dropped in recent years.

Councillor Stephen Hibbert, Northampton Borough Council's cabinet member for housing and wellbeing, said: “Following a report from the public on Tuesday, 5 September our outreach team have visited the identified site and made contact with the individual, who is known to us, and is now working with the team.

“Anyone who is concerned about someone sleeping rough, can get in touch with our outreach team via www.streetlink.org.uk or by emailing outreachteam@northampton.gov.uk including details about the location and individuals seen.”