All persons fishing our waters do so at their own risk and Ryedale Angling Club (RAC) takes no responsibility for any damage, accident or personal injury of whatsoever kind or nature.

Advice given here is for information without prejudice.

All members and their guests should make themselves aware of the risks they face in the surroundings they find themselves and carry out their own personal risk assessment which generally amounts to common sense and take appropriate action to ensure their own safety and that of others.  However, it is a requirement that all anglers read, understand and accept the Club's Health & Safety Policy and this Safety & Risk Assessment Statement.


Good Health & Safety is everyone's business.  Members have special responsibilities for Health & Safety on the Club's water to protect:

  • Themselves and their guests from the normal hazards associated with fishing, described below.
  • Themselves and others from other hazards that they may observe by reporting them immediately to the Keeper, Jim Gurling, by phone, SMS or WhatsApp message for corrective action or the issue of a generalised warning to members.
  • The future safety of members and others by reporting all incidents, near misses or accidents to the River Keeper and the Club's Health & Safety Advisor (HSA) to allow the collection and circulation of essential learning points and lessons.

At the start of each season members must read and understand the Club's Health and Safety Policy.  This document defines the responsibilities of the Club, its River Keeper and its members for the management of a safe environment for angling.  Any questions should be directed to the Club's Health & Safety Advisor (HSA) via the Secretary, using the form on the Contact page.

Members are responsible for briefing their guests on the Club's H&S Policy and their personal H&S responsibilities.

The H&S Policy document can be downloaded by using the button below, and can be stored, printed and reproduced without constraint.


Emergency Communications  Mobile phone coverage on some parts of the Club's water is limited.  Nevertheless 999 calls will be routed via the best available network, and SMS messages will often get through.  Members should always carry their mobile phone while fishing as an essential emergency measure.  The Club strongly recommends that members install the 'What3Words" app to generate accurate location for informing the emergency services' response.

Wading Take particular care when wading in deep or fast water and on rocky bottoms. Be vigilant for water hazards such as storm debris. Be aware that the water level of the river can rise very quickly. Falling in the water may cause drowning. The use of a wading staff wading belt and buoyancy aid is recommended at all times when wading or near the water. Ensure your your waders have suitable soles for the terrain.

Casting  Always show consideration to other users on a riverbank avoiding contacting anyone with your back-cast.  It is strongly recommended that you wear protective glasses when fishing to protect your eyes from flies.  Take special care in windy conditions.

Hooks and flies  Hooks by their design are sharp and easily penetrate the skin. Their use brings them into contact with germs etc, that can be injurious to health.  Caution should used when handling hooks, tying on or removing. Rusty hooks should be avoided at all times.  Weighted flies cause unpredictable movement when casting. Extreme caution should be exercised when casting weighted flies to ensure they do not come in contact with yourself, fellow anglers or the public.

Banks  Beware of undercuts in banks and scouring around trees and other obstacles especially near deep water.  Please report such hazards.

Power Lines Beware of fishing under any power lines and remember electricity can arc over considerable distances.  You are ideally earthed in water to conduct electricity. Remember that your carbon rod is an excellent conductor of electricity.

Lightning  Again you are ideally earthed when in water and your rod is a good lightning conductor. Do not fish during electric storms.  In the event of an electrical storm stop fishing and lay rods on the ground and move to a place of safety as soon as possible.

Trees  Fishing under trees can be unsafe in windy conditions. Beware of falling branches. Be vigilant for storm damaged areas where trees and their surroundings may be unsafe. If you encounter damaged trees that pose a risk to anglers please report the hazard to the HSA via Secretary.

Animals  Bulls can be dangerous.  Be especially careful in fields of cows with calves, which may act collectively to defend against perceived threats.  Where parking is allowed in fields containing livestock be aware that they may rub against your car with metal ear tags or lick paintwork and cause serious damage.  Please ensure that all gates are closed and secure after you access them to prevent the escape of livestock.

Wasps  Members must report the location of any wasp nests they identify adjacent to the river or parking areas to the River Keeper as soon as possible.

Insects  Be aware of ticks and other stinging/biting insects.  As there are significant populations of roe deer on some of the beats, members should familiarise themselves with the symptoms of tick-borne Lyme’s Disease.

Weils Disease  This is transmitted in rat’s urine. Never put wet lines in your mouth or any other items of tackle that has been in the water. Waterproof plasters should be used on any cuts or abrasions.

Sunburn   Sunburn can cause skin cancer and waterproof sun protection is recommended.  Wear glasses and a broad brimmed hat to protect your eyes.  Polarised glasses are best for reducing glare.

Vehicle access  There are several beats where anglers are able to access the river via the use of their vehicles on private off road tracks.  The Club does not have control over the maintenance and upkeep of these tracks and following the winter months or periods of adverse wet weather, these tracks can become slippery and pot holed. Members should only use these tracks when the conditions are suitable and RAC would advise that only suitable 4 wheel drive vehicles with good off road tyres be used. Drive slowly and carefully. Anglers take their vehicles on these tracks at their own risk.


Paths  Only use obvious paths along the bank.  Some paths may be closed due to storm damage. Take particular care when using some of the paths down to the river bank as they can be very steep.

Stiles  The Club provides and maintains some 40 stiles to ease access to the river.  There are a further 6-8 stiles on public rights of way for which landowners and the local authority have responsibilities.  Members must exercise common sense and judgement when using stiles.  Always check the stability of the footings and hand-posts before mounting the stile.  Never use a stile that is dangerous, damaged or wobbly.  All the Club's stiles are fitted with a serial number to assist the reporting of defects.  In the event you encounter a stile that is damaged or otherwise unsafe you should inform the River Keeper as soon as possible by phone, SMS or WhatsApp message.  Other observations on stiles and their safety should be sent to the HSA via the Secretary using the contact page on this site. 

Ladders The Club has provided steel ladders in some places to facilitate access into the River. Please use the ladders carefully taking account of the type of footwear that you are using will not be intended for ladder rungs.  Be aware that the ladders may become unstable owing to the effects of high water. Check carefully before using them.  Please report any damage to or instability of the ladders immediately to the River Keeper and the Club Secretary.

Bridges  The Club provides one bridge, at Bulmer's Strand.  Other bridges are provided by the local authority and landowners.  Members should exercise common sense and judgement before using bridges.  In particular:

  • The shoot 'bridge' on Upper Harome must not be used under any circumstances as it is wholly unsafe.
  • The bridge over the ditch in the wood below the trout farm at Rye House should be used with the greatest caution as the treads are rotten.

Gates  Members should exercise due caution when opening and closing gates owing to the weights that may be involved.

Fences  With the number of stiles that the Club provides there should be no need for members to climb fences to gain access to the water.  Accordingly, they should not do so.