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Risk Assessment, Health & Safety


First published July 2019

All Members, and their Guests, Visitors and non-fishing Guests are fully responsible for their own safety when visiting Kilnsey Angling Club. The following guidance is no substitute for taking personal responsibility for your own safety and wellbeing together with that of your Guests.

All Members, Guests and Visitors are requested to consider the following information before the commencement of any angling activity on our waters:

  • Be aware of how your state of health may affect your mobility and ability to fish for an extended period of time. If you are in any doubt about your safety, do not fish.

  • Members are advised to carry with them a basic first aid kit including a supply of plasters, some antiseptic wipes and/or antiseptic cream or gel. Remember to take with you any prescribed medicines etc. that you would need to take during the course of the day.

  • Consider informing someone of where you are fishing, when you expect to return and leave contact numbers in case of emergency (being mindful that mobile telephone signal strength/reception can vary in the valley).

  • Consider taking a whistle as well as a mobile phone.

  • Wear eye protection at all times when fishing.

  • The consumption of alcohol is not advisable before or during fishing.

  • Other than the use of prescribed medicines, the use or possession of all drugs and chemical substances is not permitted on Kilnsey Angling Club waters.

  • Open fires and disposable barbeques are not permitted.

  • When accessing our fishing please be observant of animals, particularly cows with calves and bulls. When crossing fields containing cattle please walk in a calm and quiet manner and give all cattle as wide a berth as is possible.

  • Please consider your ability to wade in the river. Consider the use of a wading staff and take care when wading, especially if the river is high or fast flowing.

  • Appropriate waders together with a buoyancy aid, specifically designed for use by anglers should be worn at all times.

  • When out of the river, wearing felt soled boots, avoid slippery surfaces and remember that accumulations of algae on the rocks within the river can also be dangerous and slippery. To overcome this wading risk consider adding screw in steel studs to felt soled wading boots.

  • Please take extreme care when fishing near overhead power lines. Electricity lines may either cross the river or run near to it at certain locations. Members must take great care when fishing in these areas, as the high voltage cables they carry will deliver a potentially fatal shock if you get too close, or touch them. You are strongly advised not to fish directly under such cables. The advised distance at which you can fish is 30 metres along the ground away from the position immediately under the nearest cable. Electricity can arc over considerable distances. You are ideally earthed in water to conduct electricity. Carbon fibre rods are an excellent conductor of electricity as is a line coated in water.

  • Electric fences used for the control of animals can periodically discharge high voltages. Contact with the wires may result in a painful electric shock, or worse.

  • Please use the obvious paths along the river and across land as slips, trips and falls can be dangerous. Be aware of undercuts in the riverbank and take particular care when the riverbanks are wet and slippery.

  • Be aware of other anglers, members of the public or livestock that may enter into the line of your back-cast.

  • Avoid conflict with other users of the river and members of the public at all times. Listen and discuss politely but do not enter into any form of argument that could result in physical assault.

  • Take cover during lightning and remember that you are ideally earthed in water and on damp banks to conduct electricity. A fishing rod is an excellent conductor of electricity and can act as a lightning rod.

  • Be aware of the hazards of falling branches and avoid fishing under trees in windy conditions.

  • The numbers of Mink and Otters on riverbanks is increasing. Mink are quite small, a bit larger than a squirrel and dark brown almost black in colour. Otters are much larger with a bigger head. Although both are more likely to stay well clear of human contact, they can be aggressive, particularly when protecting their young. In the very rare case of a bite, medical attention should be sought as soon as possible.

  • Avoid wasps, hornets nests and beehives, wear insect repellent to reduce the risk of insect bites.

  • Anglers, occasionally hook bats, usually whilst in the process of casting at dusk or during darkness. If you do hook a bat, avoid touching it with your bare skin. If you think you may have been bitten or scratched, wash the wound immediately (preferably with soap, do NOT scrub the wound), and contact your doctor.

  • Giant Hogweed may be found on our river banks. The sap of this plant can cause quite severe blistering and skin burns which often result in long lasting scars. Sap in the eyes can cause temporary or even permanent blindness. Anglers should keep well away from any plants they see. Giant Hogweed can grow up to 4 metres tall and has cow parsley type flower heads in the summer, serrated leaves, and thick hollow stems with purple blotches. If you come into contact with the plant, you are advised to wash the affected areas immediately, keep them out of direct sunlight and seek medical advice at the earliest opportunity. Treatment early in the reaction can reduce its severity – this must be done after taking medical advice.

  • Wash your hands or use an anti-septic wipe before eating or smoking. Also, remember to wear waterproof plasters on any cuts or abrasions.

  • Be aware of the risks posed by diseases (including recognition of the early symptoms) including but not limited to:

  • Weil’s Disease –is a water-borne disease transmitted in rat urine and can contaminate rivers and banks;

  • E-coli – may be present in some animal droppings – there may also be a risk from treated or untreated sewage effluent; and

  • Lyme disease – is caused by a bite from an infected tick in areas that have sheep or deer.

The above is not an exhaustive list of all matters to be considered but, by thinking about your safety (and those accompanying you) the prevailing and forecast weather conditions and taking sensible steps you should enjoy safe fishing.



Following changes in the way insurance companies manage liability claims our insurers require Kilnsey Angling Club to advise them immediately following incidents in which they may have an interest, particularly incidents involving personal injury. In order to comply with these changes any member or guest who is involved in an incident whilst angling or visiting our water must immediately report the circumstances to the Secretary or any other committee member.


Whilst making every reasonable effort to protect those concerned, Kilnsey Angling Club accepts no responsibility for any injuries/losses/damage/theft which may occur to members, guests or visitors their property either fishing waters available to the Club, or participating in work parties and other activities.

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