We hope all is well with all current and prospective members and that you enjoyed some good fishing last year.
Current members are reminded that their membership of the Southdown Angling Association (SAA) expired on 30th April 2022 and you will need to renew your membership if you want to fish SAA waters on and after the 1st May.
This year we will be sending current members a pre-addressed return envelope. All you need to do is apply a stamp. If you forget to apply a stamp, we will charge you any excess SAA has to pay. You will also not need to supply a self-addressed envelope for the return of your 2022 Membership Yearbook.
To renew membership or join, please go to the membership page where full instructions, application forms etc. can be viewed and downloaded.
Please note that no Year Books will be issued until we have received completed membership form(s) and payment.
The purpose of this notification is:
To remind / inform members about some normal restrictions on angling activity – some of our members will possibly have fished for the first time in 2021/2022
To tell you about our arrangements for 2022/2023.
To remind you of some important information about Marle Green.
There are a few other pieces of news / information too.
Coarse fishing close season
The annual close season for coarse fishing is 15th March to 15th June inclusive. This applies to all SAA waters except Marle Green and Curl’s Farm
This means that all our other waters (Boreham Street, Ironbridge, Middle Bridge, Pevensey Haven, Chilley Stream and the River Cuckmere) are closed to fishing from midnight on 14th March 2022, re-opening after midnight on 15th June 2022. The fishing close season is a legally enforceable byelaw for freshwater fishing with a rod and line across England and if you are caught fishing during this period you could face prosecution and be fined up to £50,000.
If you see people fishing illegally, pollution incidents, or dead or distressed fish, call the Environment Agency 24-hour incident hotline: 0800 80 70 60
Since the outbreak of Covid-19 we have closely followed the guidance of the Angling Trust, closing waters to angling and re-opening in controlled ways as required. We have seen national lockdowns and more local restrictions with tiers based on County and District Council boundaries. We will continue to follow any new restrictions should they be re-introduced, but at the present time that appears unlikely. Details of the any likely protocols will be published in our Year Book and on this website.
Plans for 2022 - 2023
There are no significant changes for the forthcoming membership year and membership subscription rates remain unchanged;
Because of Covid restrictions we were not able to hold an AGM in 2020 or 2021. Whereas the club’s finances remain healthy, operational aspects are restricted due to a lack of a Secretary (long-term vacancy) and a full Committee. With this in mind we will be holding an Extraordinary General Meeting later this year where proposals for the future structure and management of the SAA will be discussed.
All waters are retained (correct at going to press), with no new waters this year; and the SAA have again affiliated to the Rother Fisheries Association which gives our members access to much additional fishing on the eastern River Rother and Royal Military Canal in Kent, providing different challenges, are well worth exploring and complement traditional SAA waters well.
The 2022/2023 SAA Year Books will have a RFA sticker on the front page that is your authority to fish RFA waters and the RFA Booklet, Rules and Water Maps are all on this website. You must follow their rules when fishing these waters, all of which are subject to the annual close season.
The waters that are available include:
River Rother at Robertsbridge, Salehurst Church, Udiam Bridge, Bodiam Bridge, Newenden (note change to extent of water access this year) and Blackwall Bridge. Potman’s Heath Channel and the Royal Military Canal north bank from Appledore Dam to Iden Lock along Military Road.
The lengths of water are given in more detail on the RFA maps (see our website).The Rother at Blackwall is a wide deep river, whereas further upstream at Bodiam and above it is much narrower. Expect boats and non-fishing recreational use particularly at Bodiam and Newenden during warmer months. The Royal Military Canal and Potman’s are relatively shallow and can be weedy during the summer months so it’s well worth using a weed cutter before fishing.
We introduced some new restrictions at Marle Green last year in response to some avoidable unacceptable behaviour. Lowlights included:
Litter, discarded line entangling and killing a bird and line/braid left hanging from a tree.
Verbal confrontation with a landowner adjacent to the access and the car park, including expletives.
It is impossible to justify any of this behaviour and if it re-occurs we are likely to lose the water. You have been warned.
To mitigate some of the above; the following apply:
No dropping off or picking members up in front of the locked gate at the entrance to the venue.
Either use the car park, or drop off / pick up at the top of the lane;
Minimise movements through the locked gate – no toing and froing during the day;
Keep noise to a minimum, even in the car parking area as there are residences that directly overlook the site.
Be polite and respectful if engaged by residents. Do not use offensive language; and, If you get line, rigs, hooks etc. entangled in trees remove them immediately. If they are out of your reach, inform one of the Water Maintenance Officers.
A reminder that we do not have exclusive use of the water; instead we have to work around any planned events run by the landowner (Sacred Earth). It is this way or no access at all.
Please note and observe the closure dates for this water that have already been agreed with the landowner:
Saturday 14th May, Friday 3rd June,
Saturday 26th to Sunday 27th June, Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July,
Saturday 23rd July, Tuesday 16th to Friday 19th August,
Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th August, Saturday 10th September
and Tuesday 20th to Thursday 22nd September.
All dates are inclusive
14th December 2021
CHANGE OF Gmail ADDRESS
The Association's Gmail address has changed.
Please visit the Contacts Page for details
22nd June 2021
COMMUNICATION WITH MEMBERS
Unless absolutely necessary, we no longer send information out to members
by post anymore, so, if you are, or wish to be, a member of the Southdown
Angling Association, we need to be able to contact you via email and to do
this, your email address and other contact details need to be included in
our secure membership database.
Via our membership of the Angling Trust we are in the process of moving to
the "Clubmate" platform to manage membership details, communications
and membership renewals.
This is an off-the-shelf management system designed for fishing clubs which
will reduce our administration time and facilitate direct membership payments
Further information will be posted once it is all fully up and running.
17th March 2021
Members please note that Cinderford Pond is regrettably no longer
a Southdown AA water.
Incident at Marle Green on Saturday 26th September 2020
We have received a complaint from a householder adjacent to the access track at Marle Green who is rightly upset about what happened. The gist is that someone was picking up a young person (presumably an angler and a member) from in front of the access gate that has the combination lock to restrict access and in doing so, the person with the vehicle blocked the bridleway.
When confronted, the driver was horribly abusive to the person who complained (a woman).
We have no more details than this, but clearly this is unacceptable and stupid behaviour by an adult who should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. If anyone knows the persons involved or has any other information about this incident, please contact a club official.
The club has a number of live threats to our existence (low water levels, boaters, model aircraft, poaching, litter etc) without adding to them with this self-inflicted kind of thing.
So, a reminder about our arrangements for Marle Green and how the club expects you (and anyone transporting you to the water) to behave:
1. Parking/idling in front of the locked access gate is only permitted to unlock/lock and
open/close the gate. You should not stop there to drop-off or collect anyone, even for
a few minutes. If someone needs to be dropped off or collected either gain access
through the gate and proceed to the assigned car parking area, or drop-off or pick-up
further up the track away from the houses. No excuses or exceptions;
2. Drive slowly along the access, maximum 5 mph; slower is better, particularly if it is dry
and dusty. Be prepared to encounter pets, horses and livestock and keep them safe.
3. Be considerate to all other track users and occupiers of residences. As a member, you
represent the club, and the club will be judged by your actions; and;
4. If confronted by any of the householders, be humble, polite and apologetic. Don’t be
abusive. Remember you don’t know who they are, how they are connected and what
they are capable of doing.
A further incident like this could lead to us involuntarily losing the water or voluntarily having to give it up because of the actions of a few inconsiderate persons.
Thank you for your support and cooperation.
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,
REPORT THIS IMMEDIATELY TO THE ENVIRONMENT AGENCY ON THEIR 24 HOUR HOTLINE NUMBER OF 0800 807060.
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.
Again the ENVIROMENT AGENCY HOTLINE NUMBER is 0800 807060,
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.
HASTINGS MODEL FLYING CLUB (HMFC)
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.
A WORD OF WARNING
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.
ILLEGAL FISHING AND POACHING
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.
NEW DATA PROTECTION REGULATIONS
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.
NEW TACKLE SHOP
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.