Safety and Angling Rules

We want you to have a fantastic day when visiting us, and by understanding our rules, everyone gets a fair chance to bag a fish. Most importantly we want you to go home safely when spending time around our reservoirs.

It is the responsibility of the angler to make themselves aware of the safety, rules and important information before fishing at our locations.

The safety information and angling rules are displayed in the fishing lodges, shops and around our sites. In addition, a full copy of our safety and angling rules can be downloaded below including:

  • General Safety
  • Any method rules
  • Catch and release guidelines
  • Fishing rules and important information
  • Safety information for boat anglers at Kielder Water and Hanningfield Waterside Park

Staying safe around open water

Remember: We do not allow swimming in any of our reservoirs, unless with an authorised swimming club, that has permission from ourselves.

There are many hidden dangers that can seriously hurt or even be fatal to your life. Our reservoirs are operational, so dangers that you may not be aware of include unknown depths, extremely cold water, machinery and really strong underwater currents, as the water is pumped from the reservoir through to the water supply chain. One of the biggest dangers when jumping into open water is cold water shock. This can kill you in less than one minute.

Please stay alert and aware of the dangers when visiting. To learn more about water safety download our information sheet below and watch Durham County Council’s Dying to Be Cool campaign, which is the tragic story of Cameron Gosling, 14, who died jumping into open water.

"Never be afraid to tell people they are doing something wrong. It could cost them their life"

Water Safety

Being in and around water is great fun, but water can be very dangerous. We want you to have fun visiting our Waterside Parks and reservoirs, but we also want you to keep safe. Our reservoirs are very beautiful and it may be tempting to take a dip on a hot day, however for your safety swimming and paddling is not allowed at any of our reservoirs, unless with an authorised swimming club.

Paddling in our waters may seem very harmless, even for dogs, but there may be machinery parts, sharp stones, hooks from tackle lines or even broken glass just lying close to the shore.

The water in our reservoirs can be pumped throughout the day onto our treatment works, to finally supply you with clear, clean, great tasting drinking water. Swimming near one of the extraction pipes or even getting caught in the really strong underwater currents as the water is pumped from the reservoir can put you in serious danger and even the strongest of swimmers can get into difficulty.

Don’t be a tragic story. Please stay safe and stay out of the water at all times.

Cold Water Shock

Jumping into cold water can kill you in less than a minute!

Even when the sun is out and the weather is hot, the water underneath the surface rarely gets above 15 degrees. It is very cold, as the heat of the sun cannot reach it, and can cause cold water shock.

As you enter the water, your body goes into shock. This means that you automatically gasp for air, which means you can inhale water into the lungs, leading to drowning. The cold water can also cause abnormal heart rhythms with could lead to a heart attack – even in healthy young people.

The RNLI’s Float to live campaign gives potentially life-saving advice for if you accidentally fall into cold water. We recommend you take a look at the advice at

General Water Safety Checklist

There are dangers that can kill in lakes, reservoirs, rivers, canals, open water, ponds and the sea. Here are a few things you should remember:

• Take notice of any safety advice or warning signs, such as no swimming signs, a red flag or danger deep water signs.

• Always accompany children. Stay close to your group and stay in sight at all times.

• Never go near water if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs – this is the number one cause of water-related deaths.

• Stay clear of strong currents, weirs, rapids and reservoir edges.

• Watch out for slippery banks, soft sand and rocks.

• Don’t jump or dive in – you don’t know how deep it is going to be.

• Wear something on your feet. There may be sharp rocks, rubbish or broken glass under the water.

• Messing around can be dangerous – don’t splash water at other people or push them over.

• Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold.

• If you accidentally fall in, don’t panic. Lean back, relax and try to float until you catch your breath and you can safely swim back or call for help.

• Never go deeper than welly height when playing in rivers as the strong current can easily knock you over.

• Cover any cuts and scratches with water proof plasters. Weil’s Disease can be caught from rat urine.

• Learn to swim – it could save your life.

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