Dr. Chesters Senior Competition and inaugural Angela Moralee Shield.

This Sunday the senior river competitions will be held.

Dr. Chester Senior Competition – Sunday 25th July (Senior Male Members). Sadly, Dr. Eddie Chesters, a former club president and well known angler passed away this winter. This will be the first opportunity for the club to remember him through fishing the competition set up in his name many years ago.

Also, we see the first outing for our lady members to fish the Angela Moralee Shield. This is a new competition introduced in recognition of the growing number of women enjoying the sport of angling. Angela Moralee has been long associated with the club through Low Field Farm, our major Riparian Owners and great supporters of the club for many years. We are delighted to recognise this by naming the new ladies competition in her honour.

Those wishing to fish these competitions please meet at Jubilee Bridge Carpark (Postcode – DL15 0DJ), for 2.30pm, for a 3pm start. These competitions have in the past been sponsored by The Anglers Lodge at Jubilee Lakes, who have in the past donated some fantastic prizes.

The weather forecast for Sunday is still looking warm with some showers forecast.  As always fish care is critical during any competition and this will be discussed in more detail on the day.

The club waters have been well stocked with some lovely fish this year, COVID did delay this a little and rod numbers have been low on the water, added to an ever improving stock of large fish a great day is in store for all.

There are also some fantastic Grayling in there but while they might make your day even better please remember they do not qualify for the competition which is for the largest Brown Trout.

It would be greatly appreciated and very helpful if anglers wishing to take part were able to confirm this to the secretary If you cannot confirm in advance you are still able to fish on the day, advance numbers will always be very helpful though, so if you can confirm please do.


Quite a daunting climb out of the river. Himalayan Balsam has many drawbacks.

This picture shows a stand of Himalayan Balsam taken on a section of bank which looked impossible to tackle but which is now almost clear of this nuisance. It happened over time but a real difference was made. Last year a new section was started and monitored, returning to it this summer it was found to have much reduced Balsam growth, with those stragglers pulled and destroyed it has a chance of being clear next year.

Every section we can clear reduces the risk of erosion next winter.

Just what is the problem with Himalayan Balsam?

Aside from the obvious issues of access to and from the river this plant causes problems for the fish themselves.

This is a non-native plant, introduced to this country by gardeners, but which has since gone wild and overtaken our river banks. The issue is that the thick canopies of foliage prevent the growth of better rooted plants which bind the soil together. When the Balsam dies back the river bank is susceptible to erosion with little or no protection from other plant roots.

The erosion causes many problems including siltation of the river bed, which in turns is problematic for the gravel beds which form the spawning grounds for Trout and Salmon. With these fish under severe pressure they need all the help they can get and clean gravel to form the Reds is essential. That’s where we come in.

How can we beat this menace?

Well, it takes a little effort but it can be done and if we can attack it BEFORE it seeds the task becomes much easier.

We have previously requested that every angler should try to find 5 to 10 minutes on each visit to the river to pull a few plants, try to clear a small area. Every little helps. Pull the plants by the roots, snap the stems and pile the roots and plants in an area where they can decompose. It’s great if everyone does a little but we can do more.

The problem becomes the remaining seeds which the plants spread very effectively.

We have seen that a patch once cleared, if followed up the following season can be fully cleared. If anglers could choose a patch, be it the size of a towel, a room or a garden and attack it we can clear worthwhile areas, protect the river bank and improve the spawning success of fish by reducing siltation.

Choose a patch.

Pull the plants, snap the stems and pile them to decay.

Return to that same patch next year, if it’s been well cleared, before the plants seed it will be much clearer.

Choose a new patch.


Thank you.

Dr. Chesters Senior Competition and Angela Moralee Shield

The senior men’s and the ladies competition are now able to resume after a break last year due to the lockdown situation.

We are now delighted to announce that these competitions will be fished side-by side on Sunday July 25th.

anglers please assemble at Jubilee Car Park at 2:30pm in readiness for a 3:00pm start.

It’s great to be able to bring people together again hopefully we can enjoy a fantastic days fishing in great fishing company.

See you soon.

A selection of previous winners and their quarry

Junior Competition: The Millennium Shield Sunday May 16th 2021

Great news. COVID restrictions are lifting and a little normality is returning. We are now able to arrange our annual competitions.

First up for 2021 will be the Millennium Trophy for Junior Members.

Junior members wishing to fish the competition should meet at Jubilee Bridge car park on Sunday May 16th between 2:00 and 2:15 for a 2:30 start. Please remember , in the interests of safety junior members must be accompanied by an adult.

We’ve seen some great fish caught by our younger members on competition day in the past and with fish over 3lb being reported on our waters already this season we have the chance of another fantastic result.

COVID-19 safety procedures , as instructed by the government, will need to be followed on the day.

Good luck to all anglers competing on the day.


You will already be aware that we have been unable to hold our normal AGM due to the lockdown.

We hope the slideshow will give you a worthwhile overview of what was intended. Please note we have been unable to include private club information.

Membership Renewals 2021/22 Season

All fees will be remaining the same as 2020, details are available on the Membership Page of this site, for your convenience here is the main information you will need.

COVID lockdown menas we will not be able to hold a fees nights at the cricket club this year.

Fees and Renewals. 2021/22 Season Prices

Full members

•Joining Fee :  £10  

•Late Payment fee : £5

•Senior Member :  £75

•Junior member :  Juniors aged 16- 18 : £20

•Juniors below the age of 16: free but must be registered with the club and be accompanied by a senior member

•Senior Pond only :  £30

•Honorary members : £35  

How to renew.

The easiest and most Covid safe method of renewing your membership is to pay electronically by bank transfer. Payment may also be made by post with a cheque or postal order.

When paying by cheque please post your cheque along with the renewal slip from your membership book, or from the club web-site and include a STAMPED SELF ADDRESSED ENVELOPE ( 8” x 6”) as early as possible to

The Secretary, Willington & District Angling Club. PO Box 126, Spennymoor. DL16 9DL

Please remember, failure to include the correct SAE will result in a delay in posting, if you are unable to include the SAE then please include a payment of £1.50 and the secretary will pick this up on your behalf.

Cheques and POs should be made payable to Willington and District Angling Club Ltd.

Alternatively to pay directly by bank transfer please send your payment, including £1.50 to cover postage, packing and banking fees to :

Willington and District Angling Club at :

Barclays Bank.       Account No. 43427390         Sort code; 20-83-73. 

Please use your 2020 membership number and surname as the reference.

Dr. Eddie Chesters

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of a life-long member of the Angling fraternity.

Dr. Eddie Chesters passed away at the weekend at the age of 83.

Many anglers will remember Eddie as a skilled and enthusiastic Trout and Salmon angler who was involved with W&DAC for many years, until latter years he remained President of the Club with the Dr. Chesters Trophy fished for annually.

Willington &District Angling Club extends our deepest condolences to his wife and family at this sad time.

R.I.P Dr. Chesters 1937 – 2021

National Lockdown Update:

We now have an update and great news from the Angling Trust, fishing is a permitted activity but must be done in accordance with the Government Covid-19 Regulations.

Please see the statement from the Angling Trust below.

The Government have now formally responded to the representations made by the Angling Trust. We have promoted the huge benefits of fishing on individual health and wellbeing and have been able to present a case to which the Government have listened. On this basis I am pleased to announce that fishing will be permitted during the third national lockdown in England.
The Head of Sports Participation at DCMS confirmed the following;
“fishing is allowed as exercise so long as participants adhere to the rules on staying local, gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors”
This has also been confirmed by DEFRA;
“Cabinet Office have now officially confirmed that angling / fishing (incl. sea fishing off private boats, water sports) can be considered exercise and are hence permitted.”
We have worked extremely hard to reach this position and we as anglers have a duty to abide by the strict conditions under which fishing is once again permitted. With infection rates and death tolls rising we must stick to the Government’s rules and ensure that angling remains part of the solution and does not cause problems.
Please bear in mind these key points which will be reflected in the new Angling Trust guidelines which we will publish shortly:
– This is a strictly limited resumption of LOCAL fishing and very different to how we have been allowed to operate since May- We are in a National Lockdown and this must be respected. The law requires a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home or penalties will apply.- The government has recognised that fishing can be seen as exercise, which is expressly permitted under the lockdown rules, although outdoor recreation is not.- Organised sporting gatherings are prohibited so no match fishing.- The exercise is limited to once a day so no overnight fishing whatsoever.- 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 are once again able to enjoy the sport we love at a time when many others can not and we must ensure that every angler adheres to the rules.
I would ask all anglers who are not members to join the Angling Trust and give us your support. We have worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome and that is only possible thanks to the support of our new and existing members. I would ask all anglers who value their ability to go fishing to make the same commitment as your fellow anglers have and join the Angling Trust. We are stronger together!
Stay safe and very best fishes

Jamie Cook
CEO – Angling Trust”

National Lockdown : Waters Closed

Please see below the statement from the Angling Trust regarding the newly announced national lockdown.

In line with these requirements all club waters are closed until such a time as we are permitted to re-open. We can be confident that The Angling Trust will lobby on our behalf and will keep us updated on any progress or changes.

Suggestions in the news have been that we can hope for a relaxation of the lockdown by March, this would be brilliant news for the start of the trout season. In the meantime, please stay safe and look after your loved ones.

Kindest regards

Willington & District Angling Club Committee.


Statement from the Angling Trust on the national lockdown rules

UPDATE – January 5, 2021

“Whilst the regulations have not yet been published we have been informed this evening by the Cabinet Office that the Government have taken the decision that fishing in England will not be permitted during this national lockdown period. Whilst this is disappointing news I would ask anglers, fisheries and clubs to respect these rules and the reason they have been put in place; to help save lives and support the NHS.

Individuals should not go fishing from midnight tonight (5th January) and clubs and fisheries should close their waters to anglers. We will be publishing more detailed guidance on specific areas like bailiffing and fishery maintenance once the Government regulations have been published.

Over the past few weeks we have been in communication with the Government at the highest possible level. We have presented a strong case on how fishing could continue safely during the third national lockdown. We have explained that fishing benefits physical health and mental wellbeing and that it is regularly the only form of activity individuals undertake. You can read our representations to Cabinet Ministers here.

My team and I have consistently presented the arguments ahead of the changing government guidelines, which have allowed fishing to remain permitted continuously since the first national lockdown was lifted in May. We have been successful when other sports have not as all anglers will know.

However, with 60,000 new infections announced today, the Government have taken the decision that leaving home for recreation or leisure, including all forms of recreational fishing, should be prohibited in England during this third national lockdown period.

I thank you for your support and for being a credit to our sport. As members, you can rest assured that the Angling Trust will continue to represent our sport at the highest level and will present proposals for the resumption of angling when it is safe and sensible to do so. We will come through this period of national crisis. We will fish again, but until then, please, stay safe.

Jamie Cook
CEO, Angling Trust”

Should you have any queries or concerns please feel free to contact me.