Southdown Angling Association East Sussex Angling at its best
Southdown Angling Association East Sussex Angling at its best

15th June 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Resumption of Fishing

This update is effective from 16th June 2020, the start of the river fishing season.

Following announcements made by HM Government (HMG), from the 13th May, fishing has been allowed to resume provided certain precautions are taken and social distancing requirements are maintained.

The Angling Trust (AT) has issued guidance on resumption of fishing and this has been considered by the SAA taking into account the size and nature of our waters. The advice from AT was updated on the 29th May following lifting of some of the  regulations by HMG and some of the restrictions the SAA put in place via our earlier posting on the 11th May have therefore also been relaxed.

It is our general advice that you consider your personal health and likely exposure to others before you decide to go fishing. Our enclosed waters are relatively small and social distancing requirements will limit the number of members that can sensibly fish at any one time. There is much more space on our rivers and relatively less risk of being infected by the actions of others.

If you do decide to go fishing, you must comply with HMG restrictions and the following guidance. Any non-adherence will result in immediate expulsion and forfeit of membership fees paid. Please act responsibly, having regard to the safety of others at all times.

Any disputes will be regarded very unfavourably and be resolved by the SAA Management and their decision is final.

This guidance will be updated as appropriate. Please check this website or Facebook page for further updates.


General Requirements

Authority to Fish:

SAA waters are only open to anglers who:

Have a current Angling Licence from the Environment Agency; and have a SAA membership for the 2020-2021 membership year (green book) that commenced on 1st May 2020; or:

Are a member of one of our current water share partners (Bexhill, Seaford, PACES, Isfield), but only on the shared waters; or:

Are in possession of one of our Exchange Permits; or

Are in possession of a valid Guest Permit.

No guests or other visitors, including family members are allowed.


Everyone’s health is paramount; do not go fishing if you are unwell with any cold or flu like symptoms. Anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19, or who shares a household with any individual displaying symptoms, or is in a COVID-19 social bubble with someone displaying symptoms, should not go fishing and should continue to follow HMG advice on isolation.

If anybody in your household (or social bubble) has been contacted by a HMG Track & Trace advisor, you should not go fishing until you have completed the 14-day isolation period.

Anyone who is clinically extremely vulnerable and/or shielding should not go fishing.

Members should travel by themselves unless they are with members from the same household.

No sharing of swims and members to fish a minimum of 10m apart.

At the venue, no sharing of bait, tackle or anything else that could allow the transfer of the virus.

We recommend the use of hand sanitiser before and after touching locks, gates etc handled by other people. The use of disposable gloves is also recommended.

Night Fishing:

Following the HMG statement of May 13th 2020 and the accompanying guidelines from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, fishing at night in England is currently permissible as long as social distancing rules are followed.

Night fishing is only permitted on certain waters. Details are in the SAA Year Book.


Club competitions are now permitted, including the use of keepnets. See separate guidance on the Competitions page of this website.

Published events are subject to change.  Look out for announcements on this website and our Facebook page.

Particular Restrictions

The following particular restrictions augment existing Angling Regulations for each water included in the SAA Year Book.  They will apply until further notice.

Cinderford Pond:

This water remains closed until issues associated with access are resolved, please await further guidance.

Marle Green: Angling is limited by the following:

A maximum of 10 anglers; 5 on each bank (no fishing from the dam). Space yourselves widely apart observing social distancing. Please check swim availability before unloading your gear;

No reserving of swims;

Park considerately in the car park, not less than 2m apart.  Do not block accesses or block anyone in so they can’t leave before you; and if there are already too many anglers fishing or there is no space in the car park, please go home and try another day. Strictly no queuing in the lane and please observe the new access requirements in your Year Book.

Please note and observe the closure dates for this water that have already been agreed with the landowner, All dates are inclusive:

Wednesday 17th to Sunday 21st June, Saturday 27th June,

Monday 29th June to Saturday 4th July, Thursday 6th to Sunday 9th August, Monday 21st  to Friday 25th September

Curls Farm: Angling is limited by the following:

A maximum of 8 anglers. No fishing from the far bank. Space yourselves widely apart observing social distancing. Please check swim availability before unloading your gear. No reserving of swims. Park considerately in the car park, not less than 2m apart. Do not block accesses or block anyone in so they can’t leave before you, and if there are already too many anglers fishing or there is no space in the car park, please go home and try another day.

All venues:

No camping or lighting of fires/barbeques etc.

Fishing only from the bank. No boats, kayaks, canoes or any other equipment that would facilitate fishing from within the water. No parking in front of access gates or stiles, even if there is space. Access is limited to within 16m of the water edge only, and less is there is a boundary fence present.

The 9am to 6pm limitation on access times no longer applies.

These requirements will be reviewed and updated as appropriate following further guidance from HMG, AT and any issues that arise from implementation.


Enjoy your fishing and please keep safe.

3rd June 2020


During the past few weeks there have been numerous cases of people fishing illegally on Southdown Angling Association stretches of the rivers, especially on the Wallers Haven, all the way from Middle Bridge to Boreham Street.

It’s great to report that we hear a group of people were arrested by the police last weekend because they were fishing during the close season, this being as a result of several members seeing tents / bivvies/ barbecues / and rods etc positioned in the first field at Middle Bridge and reporting the matter.

If you happen to witness illegal fishing on any of our waters in the future, for safety reasons, please do not take action personally, but,


Even if the Agency cannot respond quickly, they do contact the police and action is taken, evidence being that of last weekend.

We need to protect our waters and fish and put these illegal poachers under pressure, that way hopefully they will get the message.


which is also on the reverse of your rod licence.


Please can all members remember not to leave their vehicle in front of any gates when parking up for a fishing session.

We have had a number of reports recently about vehicles blocking farm gates at the Pevensey Haven and at Middle Bridge and Ironbridge on the Wallers Haven.

The farmers from whom we tease the fishing rights are now getting very annoyed and are voicing their opinions to the club. They need daily access to their land to tend livestock etc and if the situation continues we may well lose the use of some of our lovely waters.

Also, should there ever be an emergency the emergency services will also need access.

Now while we acknowledge that some parked vehicles may belong to dog owners or walkers in general, it would seem that the majority belong to anglers and the people responsible are not only selfish but quite frankly ignorant and stupid!

Shown is a vehicle blocking the gate at Ironbridge upstream on Sunday 15th September, apparently the angler concerned was fishing an overnight session.

So please NEVER park in front on any gate.

The Committee will be monitoring the situation on a daily basis for the rest of the season and should a member be found to be blocking a gate with their vehicle, it could result in a lifetime ban. Therefore if you value being a member of the Southdown A A and enjoy the great fishing that our waters can offer please park sensibly and never block gates.


The HMFC own the field opposite our land at Middle Bridge and use this for flying radio control model aircraft. These aircraft vary in size, but some are very large, heavy and fast flying.

The club run a number of airshows during the year and apart from these, the most intense activity is at a weekend.

Unfortunately there have been a number of instances of these models crashing both near to anglers and in the Wallers Haven itself. For this reason we have agreed a number of measures with HMFC in order to lessen the risk to SAA members.

(a)   For their own safety, when flying is taking place, anglers should not fish near           the take off / landing  zone currently marked, particularly at weekends.

(b)   We have asked that HMFC check there is no one fishing in the direct line of           the current take off zone. If there is, they are to attract the person’s attention,           forewarn them about  the risks and politely ask that they consider moving.               Should this happen to you, please do not be offensive in return.

(c)   We advise HMFC of all our fixtures and bookings scheduled for this water              and where possible, HMFC will avoid flying on these days.

(d)     HMFC will advise us of the dates of their airshows when flying activity is most           intense and these will be communicated to SAA members via publication in             our membership yearbook, or newsletters, e-mail and our website.

          Members are advised not to fish this venue on these days, or at the very                   least not to fish in the first field, staying well away from the take off / landing               zone.

If you happen to be present when one of the models crashes on our land or in the river, please advise the Secretary or Treasurer. Records of these instances will strengthen our case in arguing the need for any changes to the current flying arrangements.

The dates for the HMFC Airshows are shown in your membership yearbook.


Whilst our stretches of the river Cuckmere are both beautiful and full of fish, some of which grow very large, everyone needs to take great care when settling down to enjoy a days sport, as although narrow in most places the river is deceptively very deep and can be up to 10ft at the waters edge.

Over the years quite a few anglers have unfortunately fallen in and have struggled to get out! In fact, already this season, a very experienced member suffered from an undercut bank which collapsed, resulting in him ending up in the water chest high and he's over six feet tall.

Please be very cautious and careful when deciding where to fish, if possible go with a fishing mate so at least there's someone on hand if an accident happens. Always have a really good prod and poke around with a bank stick to check the bank and find out where the waters edge actually is.

Most banks along the Cuckmere are now very overgrown. Years ago the banks were of mud and flat, but as the years have ticked by, the vegetation has grown, which actually now means we are sitting on banks where the middle of the river used to be, consequently that's why the water is very deep right at your feet.

Enjoy the river and all the surrounding countryside has to offer, but please tread cautiously and be very, very careful.

Curl’s Farm; Water Bank Clearance & Vehicular Access

A couple of things.

We are aware that someone has recently taken it upon themselves to fell a tree in one of the swims. This is strictly forbidden and is behaviour that could lose us the water. Clearance like this is only to be carried out by our Water Maintenance Manager.

We / you are not allowed to drive down to the lake edge beyond the designated parking area near the barn and this is prescribed in our lease. On application, we are able to grant vehicular access to those members with restricted mobility by exception only. This is closely controlled and only those with specific permission are permitted to drive down to the water.

Please comply with these arrangements. Your membership will be terminated if you don’t.

Contacting You

We are not sending information out to members by post anymore.

If you are reading this on our website and you are a member or a

prospective member, please register your contact details at:

It is easy to do and takes about 5 minutes. In case of any difficulty there are instructions on our website under Membership and Contact Details.

If you know other SAA members who haven’t registered yet, on our behalf.

please nag them to register and if you have already registered, thank you,

we have everything we need to contact you when we need to.



If you are, or wish to be, a member of Southdown Angling Association, we need to be able to contact you by email.

To do this, your email address and other contact details

need to be included in our secure membership database.


Please register your contact details at by going to the Membership / Contact Details pages


Wherever you are fishing on our club waters in the months ahead, please look out for hand lines or nets staked into the water. It seems some poachers are out and about and have been leaving these to snare fish, generally it seems on the rivers as recent reports include the Cuckmere and Wallers Haven.

If you come across any please remove and destroy or dispose of them in the right manner, making sure of course that you are safe on the river / lake side before taking any action.

Let us all be vigilant and stop these people taking fish from our waters.


The New General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) 2018 come into force on the 25th May 2018.

In common with almost every amateur organisation in the U.K., Southdown A.A. members’ details are recorded and stored on a computerised database, with the contact details members supply to the Association being held securely for the sole purposes of administration and communicating with members by post, e-mail, telephone or other electronic means.

For more information and our Data Protection Notice, dated May 2018, please refer to the Membership Page


During the past week a club member reported having to pick up 5 Sweetcorn tins and other rubbish found scattered around the lake at Marle Green.

This is a serious matter as club rules clearly state that NO TINS OR CANS ARE TO BE TAKEN ONTO ASSOCIATION WATERS and members are to LEAVE NO LITTER.

Our landowners won't take too kindly to anglers leaving litter behind which is obviously bad for the environment and any livestock, wildlife etc. and waters have been lost before due to irresponsible anglers leaving litter and rubbish on the bank.

If the above is due to you please change your attitude and don't ruin things for others. If it's proved that a members has left litter where they have fished, it's highly likely that they will be banned from the club for life.

Please ensure that you take home everything that you took with you when you left for your session on the bank, that means bottles, groundbait bags, cigarette packets, sweet packets, plastic worm tubs, line, hooks, everything !

If you do come across litter on Association waters, even though you didn’t leave it, please clear it up and dispose of it properly when you get home. Generally our waters have remained pretty litter free, but it only takes one bad apple to spoil things for everyone else.

Respect the environment, please take your rubbish home, leave only foot prints.


With many tackle shops closing down these days it’s nice to see a new one starting up.

Green D.I.Y. on the Bellbrook Industrial Estate in Uckfield are setting up a fishing tackle section, opening on the 3rd March and will be offering a 10% discount to Southdown A.A. members on production of their current membership booklet.

We wish them well in their new venture.

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