KEEN angler Prince Charles tried his hand at fishing today during a day-long visit to Teesside.

The Prince cast a rod belonging to the Get Hooked on Fishing group at Hemlington Lake, Middlesbrough.

Unfortunately, lady luck was not with Charles, who is a well-known fly fisherman, as he did not catch anything.

His impromptu spot of fishing was part of a visit to the lake to see the work being carried out to regenerate Middlesbroughs becks, as part of the Clean Becks Campaign.

The Prince met young anglers, schoolchildren, artists who have designed work on the lakeside, and members of the Friends of Hemlington Lake group.

He unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion of his visit and also heard the announcement of a grant to help continue the regeneration of the Middlesbrough becks, which are a network of small streams running through the town.

Charles told those gathered: "I just want to say what a real joy it is to visit here today.

"I do congratulate all of you who have been so heavily involved here as it is making a huge difference to all of the community living here."

Jeremy Garside, Chief Executive of the Tees Valley Wildlife Trust said: "It was fantastic to receive a visit from Prince Charles as Patron of the Wildlife Trusts.

"The Middlesbrough becks are a valuable haven for wildlife and a huge asset for the people of the town.

"The Princes visit recognised the efforts that are being made to secure these areas for the benefit of future generations.

"The £367,000 grant from Natural England will help continue the work at all of Middlesbrough's becks."

Mike McNulty, from the Environment Agency, said: "The becks are a major feature of the town's landscape which provide valuable wildlife habitat and recreational spaces.

"Since the launch of our Clean Becks Campaign, residents have thrown their weight behind it and helped to change these neglected areas."

The Clean Becks Campaign was set up by the Environment Agency in 2006 and has been run in partnership with Middlesbrough Council, Tees Valley Wildlife Trust, and Middlesbrough Football Club.

Linda Bell, chair of the Friends of Hemlington Lake, added: "We wanted to awaken people's interest in the lake and the becks and make them a fun, clean, safe and exciting place to visit.

"These wild green corridors are disappearing at an alarming rate, and although it will take time to rekindle interest, the upkeep of these areas is in our hands and the enthusiasm is most definitely there."

Later, the Prince will then visit Caedmon Primary School in Middlesbrough with senior business leaders.

He will then officially open the Mayfair Unit in Redcar which will be used for employment training, flexible accommodation for new businesses, and by community health groups.

Charles will tour the unit and meet young people and community groups who use the building.

His final public engagement of the day will be to meet employees at a Corus steelworks following the recent decision to mothball the plant.

Charles will meet with trade unions, employees and former staff during his visit to the Teesside Cast Products site in Redcar.

Around 1,600 workers lost their jobs when the plant was partially mothballed earlier this year after an international consortium pulled out of a contract.

Charles will hear how efforts are being made to secure a future for the plant and to retain key skills within the workforce.