It is a requirement of fishing on R&DAS waters that anglers read, understand and accept this safety & risk policy. All anglers should make themselves aware of the risks they face on the society’s waters. Anglers should carry out their own risk assessment at each visit and take appropriate action to ensure their own safety and that of others. This should include, but not necessarily be restricted to, an assessment of the items listed below.

Furthermore, we strongly recommend all anglers download the "what3words" app on their smartphones and learn how to use it BEFORE fishing. The app provides a unique, 3 word reference to your location that can be shared with emergency services. Remember, many of our locations are remote and very difficult to describe verbally, especially if you are in a distressed situation. We also use what3words to help you find specific locations on our waters. You can download it for free on both the Apple and Google app stores.


Water is inherently dangerous and there is always a risk of drowning. It is recommended that a buoyancy aid is always worn when on, in or near water.

Paths and Banks

These may be unstable, irregular and/or slippery. Beware of undercuts, irregularities and instability in banks; especially near deep water.


Avoid crossing fences, walls and similar obstructions, except at approved access points. These obstructions may be unstable and have sharp edges that can cause cuts, or have a risk of trapping body parts. Where possible use stiles and gates, but be aware that these may be unstable and in poor conditions with risks of collapse, cuts or injury. Even when in good condition there is a danger of tripping and falling. Be especially careful of barbed wire.


Take particular care when wading in deep or fast water and on irregular or slippery bottoms. It is recommended that you use a wading staff and a floatation device at all times. River levels can rise very rapidly and unpredictably in response to distant weather conditions.

Power lines

Avoid fishing in the vicinity of power lines. Carbon fibre fishing rods are excellent conductors of electricity. Even if the rod does not touch the cables the electricity may arc over considerable distances. If a fishing rod is used in proximity of a power line there is a significant risk of a fatal electric shock.


Always show consideration to others users on the bank. Avoid contacting anyone with your back-cast. It is recommended protective headgear and eyewear is worn when fishing.

Hooks / Flies

Hooks easily penetrate the skin and can cause significant injury and carry germs. Caution should be used when casting or when handling hooks. Rusty hooks should be avoided.

Weighted Flies

Weighted flies can be difficult to control when casting. Extreme caution should be exercised when casting weighted flies to ensure they do not cause injury to yourselves or others.


Fishing under trees can be unsafe in windy conditions. Beware of falling branches.


 Bulls can be dangerous, as can bullocks and cows with calves. Avoid all animals where possible and treat with caution.

Weil’s Disease

This is potentially fatal and can be present in water that has been contaminated by rat’s urine. Never put wet lines in your mouth or any other items of tackle that has been in the water.



There may also be a risk in some waters from sewage effluent. Wear waterproof plasters on any cuts or abrasions. Never put wet lines in your mouth or any other items of tackle that has been in the water.


Some plants can be a significant risk to health; most notably Giant Hogweed, whose sap can cause severe burning of the skin.

General Safety Guidance

It is recommended that all anglers should wear head and eye protection at all times, and a flotation device as appropriate. Anglers should fish with a companion when possible. Anglers should leave details of their planned itinerary and time of return with someone. The society accepts no liability for any injury or damage that anglers suffer or cause. It is a condition of permission to fish tha the angler accept liability for any injury or damage to themselves, others or property. It is a condition of permission to fish that the angler arrange suitable insurance against injury and/or damage to themselves, others and property.