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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 and the rates for 2020/21



Visit Kieth's website here:


Visit Kevin's website here:


Visit Hugh's website here:

Wildlife images courtesy of Hugh Miles.


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


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

January 2021

An interview with Dean Asplin

and Martin Salter from the

Angling Trust

By Club Media Officer, James Nash

''Firstly Dean, many thanks indeed for your time today. Given how busy the Trust has been recently, the opportunity to speak with you is very much appreciated.


Most of us have seen over the past 12 months or so the monumental effort the Angling Trust has made in securing fishing for the angling community during this awful pandemic. The volume of work that has been involved in achieving this must have been hugely demanding. Can you tell us a little bit more about how this has been achieved?''


''It’s certainly been a challenging time at the Angling Trust. The campaigning work was led by Jamie Cook and Martin Salter, our communications people did a fantastic job in getting the message out to the angling community and many of our regional officers were busy staffing the Covid Helpline and fielding hundreds of enquiries. It really was a case of all hands to pumps.


For anyone wanting to know the full story of how we got angling over the line when other sports were banned I suggest reading Martin’s latest blog which you can find here




I’ll quote the message from Martin in the final paragraph:


“It shouldn’t need saying but we really must avoid fishing in crowded places where social distancing could be difficult and  might give rise to concerns over public health. We can hardly maintain the argument that allowing us to fish relieves pressure on public open spaces if we are demonstrably adding to the problem. If your favourite local stretch of river or canal has a narrow towpath and is crammed with people then go somewhere else or return home. The spotlight is on us like never before and we must all conduct ourselves responsibly and fish safely. Please remember we are extremely fortunate to be able to fish at all and we must all act as ambassadors for our sport.”


''We’re often asked as an angling club what joining the Angling Trust means and what benefits members can expect having joined. How does joining benefit the member  and why is now the time for all anglers to join the Angling Trust?''


“There is no doubt that the Angling Trust has finally come of age and there can scarcely be an angler in the country who now hasn’t heard of us or is not aware of what we do. We are all immensely proud of what we have achieved and feel privileged to be working for an organisation that speaks up so effectively for the sport we all love. I think my colleague Martin Salter summed it up perfectly when he wrote -


‘A big thank you must go to every Angling Trust member whose support has been crucial in enabling us to make a professional and ultimately successful case for fishing. Over 2,000 anglers have joined us in the last week and we hope many more will do so soon. By working together we are so much stronger.’


Wimborne DAC is a valued member club of the Trust but as Martin says it’s the individual members that we need to grow and it would be great if everyone reading this joined us today.''


Membership Link: https://anglingtrust.net/membership/


''Members of the angling community are often unaware of how the Trust is funded. Can you explain how financing the Trust is achieved? ''


''Our funding comes from a variety of sources. The three largest sources of funding are:


1) Annual rod licence income through the National Angling Strategy in partnership with the Environment Agency, this covers most of our participation work and the Fisheries Enforcement Support Service.

2) Sport England funding through an Angling Whole Sport Plan that covers participation work.

3) Membership subscriptions, donations and legacies are currently our lowest income and one we really hope to grow to give the organisation financial security and independence moving into the future.


Due to the funding we receive from the Environment Agency via the rod licence for specific projects, freshwater angling receives greater funding than sea angling as the income from the freshwater rod licence is a tax which can only be spent on protecting and improving freshwater fisheries and angling. The only thing holding us back is a lack of financial support from anglers which restricts the resources we have available to campaign as fully as we would like on the wide range of issues affecting all forms of angling. We receive no contracted funding from the government to carry out any specific work on sea angling, but we can use some of the Sport England funding for sea angling participation projects and competitions.''


''The AT were instrumental in supporting improvement works at a number of WDAC waters in recent years. Are you able to detail how the Trust can support clubs such as ours as well as open access waters?''


''There are a few different ways in how we can support angling clubs and fisheries:


1) Through our partnership with the Environment Agency we manage rod licnece money through the Angling Improvement Fund which is where WDAC applied very successfully. Since its launch in 2015, the AIF has made over 500 separate awards totaling over £2.3m to clubs and fisheries that aimed to improve the infrastructure of angling facilities all of which support the National Angling Strategy.

2) For environment and fishery improvement projects the Environment Agency manage the Fishery Improvement Fund which is also rod licence funding.

3) Sport England funding – because we worked hard to be recognised as the national governing body for the sport of angling by Sport England this allows our sport to apply directly to Sport England for funding. The two funding streams that angling has had best interaction and success in is the Small Grants Funding – bids under £10,000 and the Community Asset Funding – larger development infrastructure projects to £300,000

4) Lottery funding grants to £10,000

5) Many other more localised grants that our team of regional officers keep up to date on''


''You’ve very kindly sent us some angling literature that we’ll be using for our junior members this year. As a club, we’re seeing record numbers of juniors participating which really is fantastic to see. What do you think has been the main catalyst for this and what can we be doing to maintain these higher participation levels? Does the Trust have any junior events planned post-restrictions?''


''Sadly and as you would expect, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit our participation events very hard but on the plus side, we have seen a huge increase in rod licence sales simply because people have more time on their hands to go fishing and because we fought so hard to keep our naturally socially distanced sport open when other sports were forced to close for example golf. We are seeing many family bubbles going fishing together which is great. Before the Covid pandemic it was not common knowledge of the huge successes the Angling Trust and its delivery partners were having in putting on Get Fishing events throughout England and this is something we are learning to shout about more. Pre Covid we were delivering over 500 Get Fishing events to over 35,000 participants a year where just over 50% are juniors! We thank WDAC for doing their part and working very successfully in partnership with us to give these families and juniors somewhere to try fishing for the first time and thrive in the sport.''


''Fishing in general has also seen somewhat of a resurgence since this time last year, no doubt as a result of various degrees of lockdown, with folk perhaps having a little more time on their hands than they would ordinarily. Has the AT seen a significant rise in members and what are the ramifications for the Trust if so?''


''We have seen a rise in membership of around 2000 individual members which is fantastic, and we are very grateful to those that have seen the great work we are doing and have chosen to support us. We would really like to grow this even more to really put our organisation into a position where we can be more financially independent and to aid financial security. Without a secure and stable national governing body then when the threats come to the sport like they have this year the impact of the fight to overcome the threat is reduced! Therefore, again if you are reading this and not currently an individual member, we politely urge you to join us.''


''On a more personal note Dean, where do you like to fish yourself? Any particular favourite haunts and captures from your time in angling?''


''I have been fishing for over 30 years now and I love all types of fishing, but my passion is big carp fishing and over the years I have fished some real historically important waters from Wraysbury 1 to the Yateley complex. I fished in the Ringwood area for about 8 years fishing for Barbel on the Hants Avon and Dorset Stour, Pike and the many big Carp but in recent years I have been fishing a very large low stock venue of over 250 acres in Reading fishing for the proverbial needle in a haystack!  I have to say that within the Angling Trust all angling disciplines are represented in our fishing mad staff group. Jamie (CEO) and Martin are from Reading and grew up fishing the Kennet and the Thames but they regularly travelled down your way to fish the Avon and the Stour for big roach, chub and barbel. In fact, Martin was a Wimborne member for a couple years before he got elected to Parliament and his fishing time was curtailed. We have expert Sea, fly and lure anglers in our ranks together with keen barbel specialists and good match anglers.''


''Many thanks indeed Dean. Your interview has provided a much greater understanding of how the AT operates as an organisation. Members of the Club can visit the AT website on the link below for further information..''



Martin Salter with a lovely big Roach caught from the Wimborne stretch of the Stour last March on a day out with Angling Trust Ambassador Hugh Miles.

Dean with one of those needles in the haystack - a new PB common of 46lbs!

Significant improvement works at Kingsbridge

By Club Secretary, Stuart Hitchman


As many of you will aware, the complex was closed W/C 4th January for much needed improvement works to the new entrance and car park surfaces. This is now complete, with the addition of new pathway surfaces.


View the gallery below:


Changes to the 2021 membership book

By Club Secretary, Stuart Hitchman


The Club operates a rolling membership which means a new member can join the Club at any time throughout the year. It has become apparent that this system does not allow for the timely distribution of updated information to existing members. The aim of this article is to highlight the significant changes that are included within the

2021 membership.


1. New Game Secretary – Mr Paul Baker has assumed responsibility as the Club’s Game Secretary and can be contacted as follows:


a. Email:  Paul.bakerwdac@gmail.com

b. Mobile: 07990576777


2. Improved parking at Durweston Mill – As part of the new lease negotiation process the landowner at Durweston Mill has kindly agreed to two vehicles to be parked in the Mill Car park. Members must only park in the designated spaces (see map below)  and must display a note in their windscreen identifying them as WDAC members. Should the spaces be taken on arrival members must park at the entrance to Mill Lane.


3. Map highlighting members parking at Durweston Mill

4. Example parking notice

Download parking notice

to print

5. View/download the 2021 membership book pages


What is going on

By Club Chairman, Mike Hirsh

The Club’s Committee has been focused on keeping routine matters moving forward and working on some initiatives too, but there is no doubt that the pandemic has altered our behaviour. That should come as a surprise to nobody.  We continue to ‘Zoom’ to meet monthly and have almost got used to it; we have also had additional group virtual meetings to discuss particular problems when needed. Email traffic was high before the pandemic and has not diminished, but attending outside meetings to discuss and act on practical matters has at times been tricky.


As you will know there should shortly be a Game Section Annual Meeting followed by the Annual General Meeting of the Club in March. Whilst a ‘virtual’ meeting was considered, for the present the decision of the Committee has been to defer both meetings in anticipation that at some time in the not too distant future we can meet properly. I quite like the idea of an outside socially distanced meeting. It would be relatively easy for the Game Section, but not so easy for the AGM. For now, against the background of the current Government advice the obvious decision is to defer.


At the January Committee the existing full list of membership fees and ticket costs were reviewed. With one exception it was agreed not to increase any fees or ticket prices. The only price increase will be for night permits, where the price will rise from £20 to £30 from the 1st April 2021. The monies arising from this increase will be ring fenced and used to purchase some further carp for the waters where night fishing is allowed and the Club is able to stock.


Part of my effort has been diverted into writing the various iterations of the rules required to be provided to Members as the Government’s Coronavirus advice has changed. The procedure the Committee has adopted, because the changes need to be acted on quickly, is for me to write the drafts and then to circulate the script by email to the Committee members for review before circulation and publication to the membership. The Angling Trust has been hugely instrumental in not only lobbying to keep fishing as part of exercise, but also to publish helpful guidance. Key AT players have been on the end of the telephone too when needed – indeed, elsewhere in this newsletter  is an interview with Dean Asplin, who helped me last May about the rules surrounding  works required to get fishing open safely.


When PBC Council was in tier 4 and the Dorset Council area was in tier 3 it provided an interesting change to the previous advice notes; but in practice was pretty unhelpful. To  fish the north bank of the Stour in tier 3 and be in breach of the guidance by crossing the River and fishing the south bank in tier 4, or vice versa was not a matter for Club bailiffs; but was potentially a police matter. Fortunately no incidents were reported about such a breach, although I am sure it happened.


The latest advice, written in response to the lockdown at the beginning of 2021 is the sixth version.


The Club has pressed ahead with remedial and improvement works at Kingsbridge as will be seen from the photographs in this edition of the newsletter provided by Stu Hitchman . Members were notified about a short closure of this lake complex for the main works at the beginning of January. The Club arranged a contract for these main works of relaying the car park and resurfacing the access road between the lakes. However, since then work has continued using Club volunteer labour and masterminded by  Stu Hitchman. I did have a ‘sign-off’ meeting with Stu and also agreed some further works relating to footpaths, the principal of which had been agreed at the January Committee. The works are a real improvement and the quality of the work to the car park is excellent. I  cannot wait to fly fish for rudd on Tranquil once the weather warms up!

In the pre-Christmas cold spell I spent some early mornings at Edmonsham, not fishing but waiting for elusive cormorants. The Club has an area licence to shoot to scare and in extremis kill.  The top lake has been strung for the winter to keep the cormorants at bay, but they still arrive to feed in Julia’s. I find it interesting that a lake that appears devoid of fish at times, provides a feeding ground for these birds. I am part of a rota doing this work and the main aim has been to scare them away; it is a constant concern. Four years ago I was doing similar work on the River Stour but one of the bye-products of the pandemic and the new open spaces laid out on the north side of the River at Canford is the large numbers of the public now frequenting the River banks – it makes early morning use of a shotgun impossible even if only firing blanks.


I have been otter watching too. Of course these animals have the highest level of protection and these days they do seem to know it. There has been an otter eating the Club’s trout at Winterborne Zelston. It moved in around Christmas and in an effort to move it on a proposed stocking has been deferred. Tickets for the water are currently not being sold. In the last few days the otter appears to have gone and the situation is being monitored. I was there after a really heavy frost as dawn broke on New Year’s Day it was a perfect sunrise and a magic way to start the year. I got to within about three meters of the otter as it fished - it showed no fear. This is a difficult baptismal problem for Paul Baker our new Game Secretary, and he will keep Members of the Game Section informed about future stocking.


I have since been back at Zelston doing a bit of maintenance on the weed racks on the weir whilst I watched the water. It remains a favourite place just to watch water because it is so clear, but then the child in me will watch water almost anywhere.


I am frightened by the current virus spread. It is inhibiting what I do, even working on my own at a lake, I am forced to use anti- virus sanitiser on my hands after opening gates and handling tools.  A work colleague and his wife have it. He does not know how he got it, and he is a careful man - he is not well. An uncle of mine died last year, having caught it in his nursing home. I would like to believe that this year I will not have to draft too many more revisions to Club rules on how to fish during a pandemic.  I remain concerned that anglers may not be reading the advice for meaning. The current focus must be to ensure anglers behave with real responsibility. It is worth quoting again what is on the Angling Trust website and in our latest rules, which is that:


''To remain within the law you should follow the Government’s guidance, and only fish locally within the district where you live. If you have no local fishing available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways.''


We know from the news that police will get tough on people who have travelled for ‘exercise.’ I am keen for Club members not to be caught by this part of the guidance, because they have just read the headlines and believe it is all right to fish, as it was last summer – this is not the case. So stay local.

An interview with Club President, Brian Heap

By Club Media Officer, James Nash

Next up from the Club’s committee is President, Brian Heap.


1. ''Brian, can you tell us a little bit more about your role as President and what that role involves?''


''I was originally appointed to the committee back in the 1970’s, where monthly meetings took place at the King’s Head in Wimborne. This role changed to assistant treasurer (alongside then Treasurer Jean Lubbock) Back then, the assistant treasurer dealt with memberships, a role now undertaken by Chris Compton as membership secretary. Later, I was elected to fulfil the role of Treasurer but  continued the work on memberships for a further 13 years until I became a Vice President in 2003.  I have been President of the Club since 2012.


The President’s official role within the Club is to appoint trustee’s, who act as the legal owners of the Club’s assets, are responsible for handling any of the assets held in trust and tax filings if applicable. This somewhat different to a member of the committee, I do however still attend all committee meetings and provide any advice when required.


Club Presidents tend to fall into two categories, those who are well known and those who keep in touch. My role within the Club involves the latter.''


2. ''Which is your favourite Club venue and why?''


''That changes in all honesty! It depends on the time of year. At the beginning of the season it would have to be the River Stour before the weed becomes more prevalent.


Not long after the second lake at Edmonsham was excavated (Pinnock Lakes) I very much enjoyed wetting a fly for trout. It has since become a wonderful tench and crucian venue, back then trout were the target species. I recall my first session there, eagerly learning the art of fly fishing from then Game Secretary Tom Coleman. Whilst the fly had settled in the margins as I came to terms with feeding line from the reel, a trout unexpectedly took the fly.  Not technically a first cast, but certainly a first trout!


As the winter months set in, I particularly enjoy our Bailey’s and Netherwood Mead stretches of the Stour. For members interested in competitive angling, weather permitting we have a number of matches on the river later in the season.


Whilst not a Club water, I particularly enjoy fly fishing on the fantastic Sutton Bingham Reservoir.


If I had to choose one venue above all, it would have to be Bailey’s for the roach!''



3. ''What’s been your highlight capture from a Club venue since you first joined?''


''Again, there are more than one! Many years ago I was fortunate enough to enjoy a red letter day on the Purchase’s beat of the Stour. The catch provided over 100lb of roach, five of which were over the magical 2lb mark. The largest tipped the scales round to 2lb 11oz, a true specimen river capture!


In addition, memorable captures include:


• A wonderful 20lb pike from Harding’s

• A lovely 5lb 9oz chub from just below Canford Bridge.

• Superb dace and grayling from a stretch of the River Allen that the Club previously had access to''



4. ''If you could go fishing with any angling personality, who would it be and why?''


''Match fishing over the years has taken me all over the country, and indeed Europe. During that period I was fortunate to meet a number of great anglers. My namesake Ian Heaps would be a sure-fire contender. He represented Team England from 1975 to 1988, also taking the coveted European title in Portugal in 1985. He now runs Holgan Farm Fishery & School of Angling in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Billy Lane would be the other, arguable the greatest matchman of his generation before he sadly died at the early age of 59. He fished for Team England, earning the accolade of England’s first ever world angling champion on Luxemboug’s River Moselle in 1963.''


5. ''Can you tell us about any changes for 2021 within the Club?''


''The Club has a number of projects lined up for this year. What I would like to see most is for us to be COVID disease free, getting back to life as we knew it.''


6. ''Tell us an interesting fact about yourself that we may not know!''


''I actually spend the majority of my angling time at sea! Bought back in 1997, my boat enables me to enjoy some bass and plaice fishing in and around Poole Harbour.''


''That’s fantastic Brian, thank you very much for taking the time to speak with us today. Is there anything you’d like to add before we sign off?''


''Only that if any members are aware of any waters that are available, we’d be extremely keen to hear from you. We are actively looking at water acquisition and would appreciate being informed of any upcoming opportunities.''

6. Directions to Beckets – There is a mistake in the 2020 yearbook on page 69 and the directions should read: As you enter Charlton Marshall, take the third right after the Charlton Inn, Gravel Lane.


7. About Trout Fishing, the Rules on Trout Lakes and the River Stour – these two sections of the Yearbook have been revised to  improve the clarity of the existing advice and rules. The descriptions on the various sections about fishing on the River Stour have also been clarified in relation to close seasons and game fishing.


8. 2021 Yearbook - A copy of the new 2021 yearbook is available to download on the web-site and contains the above and all other minor amendments.






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