Local Angling Group Gains Access To National Trust Waters

Wandle Piscators' lease in Morden Hall Park begins mid-March

National Trust waters in Morden Hall Park. Picture: The Wandle Piscators
National Trust waters in Morden Hall Park. Picture: The Wandle Piscators

February 24, 2023

Following what they describe as extensive work behind the scenes, The Wandle Piscators have secured the angling lease to National Trust waters in Morden Hall Park.

Details on specific areas that will be opened up for general fishing, fishing bailiffs only, young piscators and those which are out of bounds, are still to be finalised.

Previously anglers could only fish in the Wandle at Morden Hall Park if they were a member of the Morden Hall Park Angling Club.

The Wandle Piscators were formalised as a group of anglers in 2005, which was the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Admiral Nelson, who is said to have been one of the Wandle’s most famous fishermen.

Nowadays the Club is “committed to helping the historic River Wandle come back to life after centuries of pollution and abuse”.

The River Wandle had a reputation as one of the finest trout rivers in England until the Industrial Revolution when increased pollution of the waterways started to kill off the fish population.

The Upper River at CarshaltonThe Upper River at Carshalton. Picture: The Wandle Piscators

The Wandle Piscators point out that over the last thirty years the River Wandle has made “remarkable progress, but it has a long way to go” while the fish in it are “precious and need special care from the fishermen who take pleasure in catching them”.
A catch and release policy is in full operation and eating fish from the Wandle is a “risky business”, according to the Piscators’ Angling Guide. Although the river itself is perfectly safe nowadays, the major weirs on its course create deep deposits of silt, which contain the pollutants and heavy metals from former industries.

In Wandsworth accessibility for fishing the river gets more difficult below Trewint Street, before it disappears under the Southside Centre. However, for future reference the new developments at the Ram Quarter include plans to increase safe access to fishing before the Wandle reaches the Thames.

If angling locals travel a little further South they can enjoy the River Wandle as it flows from springs on the North Downs to the East, where the river now emerges in Wandle Park and Waddon Ponds near Croydon, and in the west where headwaters rise in Carshalton Ponds and around Beddington Park. There is also good fishing in The Middle River with easy access from parks and in those places where the Wandle Trail
runs close to the flow.

The Angler’s Guide provides residents with all the details of how to get the best fishing experiences in The Wandle, which now offers the chance to catch a wide variety of species with chub, barbel, roach, dace, trout, gudgeon, eels and carp being the most common.

The lease at Morden Hall Park will officially begin on March 15th, and the Wandle Piscators say they are looking forward to welcoming both new members looking to join as well as those already belonging to the Morden Hall Angling Club.

Angling within the park will only be available to paid up club members and you can sign up here.

Membership of the Wandle Piscators is open to anyone with an interest in fishing and also anyone who has an interest in restoring the River Wandle to full health and biodiversity.

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