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We're always updating our news feed to keep our membership up-to-date with Club news.


See this months news below as well as links to previous articles.


For full details on how to join


Further details on all of our waters and concessions.

WDAC offers our membership the chance to fish two trout waters, Winterborne Zelston and Rawlsbury


WDAC runs numerous matches across the calendar year, encompassing both stillwaters and the River Stour. Matches are also held on non-club waters.



YOUR club needs YOUR help to report sightings of cormorants

It's critically important that we look after the welfare of our fish, for today and for tomorrow.



For full details on how to join and the rates for 2020/21


For full details on how to join

February 2023

By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman

Important dates for your diary

WDAC Annual Game Section Meeting 14 March 2023 commencing at 19.30


WDAC Annual General Meeting 21 March 2023 commencing at 19.30


Both meetings to be held at the British Legion Corfe Mullen. Entry only by showing an up-to-date Membership Book.


By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman

A Winter Flood

On the 16 January 2023 I had a meeting scheduled for 08.30 at Kingsbridge to meet contractors, requiring access to cut back trees under the pylon lines that cross the Lees Estate. It normally takes me about 25 minutes to get from my home in Wimborne to Kingsbridge, but it took me an hour and a quarter.  The rainfall during the night, on top of heavy rain in the previous week had caused streams in ditches to become torrents and the rivers were leaping out of their banks and dancing where the contours took them.


Fortunately, I had left early, as I had wanted to look at how bad the cormorant problem was down on Wellington and Widgeon. That meant I was only ten minutes late, having been unable to get on the A35 which was closed at the Baker’s Arms roundabout. The Sherford River, that provides a boundary to the fishery complex, had  decided to run north and flood the carriageway, where other ditches were also over-flowing  and unable to escape too.


I unlocked the gate, but there was nobody waiting. Then Brian Heap, your President, arrived. He was at Kingsbridge with his favourite weapon, the petrol strimmer, to cut back brambles from around the lakes. As the tree contractors had still not arrived, we left the gate unlocked and walked down towards Wellington and Widgeon. I saw a couple of cormorants take off from their ‘perching’ tree, and then we had a good look at what was going on.


At Wellie’s west end water was pouring in from the Sherford River across about ten yards of the lake’s bank and then leaving again about thirty yards further along to the east. This was not a dribble, but a real depth and force of water carrying leaves and debris.  We did wonder whether or not any of our stock was getting away, but decided  there was absolutely nothing we could do in any event.

We re-traced our steps and went to look at Widgeon. The water here was not over the bank, but it was very high and the lake had flooded in the top corner closest to the Wareham Road. We walked around to look at the outfall pipe and watch a large volume of turbulent water being forced into the lake from the stream. The outfall had become the source of the flood as the flows were reversed. This time Brian and I speculated on how many small flounders might be flowing in with this water. I have seen flooding here before, but nothing of this violence.


Meanwhile up at Edmondsham and at, more or less, the same time the electric fence was inundated over a 50 metre stretch just south of Medleys. The water came nearly to the top of the supporting posts and of course shorted out the fence. The River redesigned its bed, and I suspect, wiped out the spawning redds, where embryonic trout lay as eggs between the gravel. It will be interesting to see if there are any fry at all this year.


At Winterborne Zelston, a river on the line of the old winterbourne’s course (diverted when the lake now used by the Club was constructed)  ran across the field west of the lake and poured water straight across the bank where, as late as the middle of October, there had been almost no water at all.

Photo 1: The Sherford River pouring over the bank of Wellington. The small, curved tree in the foreground is on the lake edge.

Photo 2: The bungalow platform underwater at Winterborne Zelston. With a river running into the lake in the distance.

The weir cill was inundated, and water flowed out of control down the channel into the Village where it met a large volume of water coming in alongside the road towards the Village green. When Paul Baker saw it later in the day he took photographs and wrote an email to the regular trout anglers closing the fishery. A number of the houses were very close to being flooded including those on the track to our lake.


Of course, the Stour rose and inundated our fisheries for much of the week.

Photo 3: Looking across the R Stour towards Netherwood Mead, taken on the same day as Photos 1 and 2 and as expected the Stour got worse before subsiding back in its banks.

There have been floods regularly down the years, during the winter, across this part of Dorset, but it is a salutary reminder of the way in which we  remain largely at the mercy of such events, just as we could not do anything to control the drought last summer.


The Committee have a plan for the otter fence at Edmondsham, which has been agreed by our landlord, and it will be built back better.  I am also hopeful that no carp left Wellington and no trout appear to have left our lake at Winterborne Zelston.


In the end, I did meet up with the contractors at Kingsbridge too, who were over an hour late. They had come from Yeovil and got diverted to Wareham as the A35 around Dorchester was also impassable.

By James Nash, Club Media Officer

A new Club competition series

It's about time we ran another promotion for our members so we've altered the format this year to provide something a little bit different this time...


We'll be running a catch report competition series - with members able to win tackle vouchers to spend at local retailers. The first one will run from March 1st through till June 30th. Simply send us your favourite club captures, with the date and the story behind the picture and that's you entered!


We'll then repeat the process for:


  • July 1st - September 30th and
  • October 1st - December 31st


So there's 3 opportunities to enter and win with £210 worth of prizes up for grabs!


Send your entries to website@wimborneanddistrictanglingclub.co.uk


The format


  • Send us your catch photo, with the date of capture and a short story about why it's your favourite
  • We'll publish these to the competition page in March.
  • Judging will be weighted more towards the story behind your catch report than the quality of the image provided
  • Vouchers for the first round will be redeemable against any purchase of tackle or bait at Wessex Angling
  • Round 2 and 3 prizes will be redeemable at Purbeck Angling and BFL respectively
  • Catches must be from a Club water
  • Junior entrants (members under the age of 18) must be accompanied by parental/guardian consent
  • You're free to enter as many times as you'd like into each round (within reason please!)
  • A catch report cannot be entered into more than one round
  • The date must be included and submitted within 10 weeks of the capture
  • Your entry is validated once you receive written confirmation from the Club
  • Entries are only via the email address provided above
  • For large photo file sizes, please see the advice below. Sending large image files via email may result in the Club not receiving your entry

By Mike Hirsh, Club Chairman

Public Space Protection Order Consultation – BCP Council responses required by the 19 February 2023

The Club has just responded to a consultation on one of three proposed Public Space Protection Orders proposed by BCP Council because it affects Alder Hills. The details may be found on the Council’s website:  http://haveyoursay.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/pspo


There are a total of three proposed orders seeking to regulate behaviour along the coast, in car parks and along highways, and then most importantly identified open spaces. These orders, currently in draft, seek to impose a set of conditions on the use of that area which apply to everyone, and it is intended they would apply between the 1 March and 31 October. After the end of the consultation a full report on the findings will be considered by the Council and a decision made in the Spring.


These proposed orders are a response by the Council to the worst effects of the staycations which have led to large numbers of people behaving in a way that is seen, particularly by local residents, as being unacceptable. The key issues are around overnight camping or sleeping in cars particularly in the coastal belt, but also the lighting of open fires, the use of BBQ’s, including disposable ones, noise and associated litter. Once an order is made the Council will be able to deal more easily with offenders using penalty notices much like parking tickets.


The consultation identifies a list of open spaces that would be affected by the open space protection order and Alder Hills is on that list and is also shown on the interactive map online. Whilst Creekmoor Ponds and Hatchpond are not on the list at present, it is considered important to identify that the Club also has the fishing rights on these waters too in case these places are added in the future.


The current draft wording of the Order would appear to prevent the use of purpose designed stoves and indeed might include smoking cigarettes as it is the intention to ban ‘naked flames.’


In the FAQ section online there is an item on night fishing from the beach which can be made to be exempt from the order, so it is contended that the Club should be able to secure continued night fishing.


The substance of the Club’s response is as follows:


Wimborne and District Angling Club has the fishing rights on the lake at Alder Hills [as well as Creekmoor Ponds and Hatchpond on the edge of the Nuffield Industrial Estate]. The Club took on the management of these lakes for angling purposes from Poole Borough Council and the Club works with the relevant Council staff on matters of common interest. The lake at Alder Hills can be fished at night, as can the other waters, and this was indeed the case when the Council managed the fishing. The current Club rule 9 advises: "Members must not light fires (fires do not include a purpose designed cooking stove but do include throw away barbecues or those fired with charcoal), erect tents (excluding small bankside bivvies’ and umbrellas), bring dogs (except on water where dogs are allowed), play radios, or dig into any bank or meadow for bait. Members must respect owners’ property and conduct themselves in a proper manner to preserve the good name of the Club."  The Club also operates voluntary bailiffs, who will patrol the Club's waters and the Club takes disciplinary action to enforce the rules, including expulsion from the Club, for serious offences including lighting fires.


The Club notes that there is a potential exclusion from the proposed Order for night fishermen on the beach and it is requested that this is extended to Alder Hills (and the other above-mentioned waters if the scheme was to be extended). We would ask that purpose designed stoves are also allowed and indeed it is noted the draft order advises 'naked flame' which is regarded as Draconian as this could mean a smoker may be caught too.


It is now well understood that fishing often plays an important part in the well-being and mental health of those taking part and it would be, it is contended, unreasonable to curtail their enjoyment, particularly when the Club's anglers are not in any way the motivation for the Order. Local anglers are loyal to Alder Hills lake (and indeed there is a volunteer work party of bailiffs there this Saturday (11/02/2023) ensuring it is kept tidy). Anglers provide a calming human presence that, itself, has an effect and their absence may lead to unforeseen consequences that may make matters worse in terms of human behaviour from those who are transient visitors to an area and who thus do not identify with it.  It is therefore requested that the Order is revised to exclude Wimborne and District Angling Club anglers (who can be readily identified as they carry Club membership books, and we can revise the Club rules to make sure that anglers have to show their books on demand to your authorised officers, which in practice will not in any event be a problem).

The consultation is of course open to individuals so do have your say about the issues raised by this particular Order and indeed the other two as well.


I will let Members know the outcome of this consultation at a later date.

  • For photographs up to 10MB in size please email to website@wimborneanddistrictanglingclub.co.uk
  • For entries over 10MB in size please use either Dropbox or WeTransfer to send your entry. Links for these are below. Please use the above email address for your file transfer
  • Members who entered the 2020/21 photo comp are welcome to enter this competition again with the same entry. Unlike the first competition (2019/20) where we received over 100 entries, the 2020/21 competition was cancelled due to insufficient entries. Whilst the comp was promoted via the Club newsletter second time around, it wasn't on social media - which will be remedied this time around to ensure sufficient entries.






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