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The charity making life better by water

Angling club signage

I do wonder which angling club was the first to ever erect one of their club signs on the canal network.

Nickerhole Bridge Sign

If you know the answer to that, or know where old angling club signs that might have heritage value are, then please get in touch and send us a photo. We might even publish the most interesting ones!

We recently came across this gem of sign on a bridge on the Manchester, Bury & Bolton Canal, sent to us by Eric Owen, a larger than life character who featured in one of our previous blogs.

Permanent angling club signage

As one of our customer angling clubs, you need to install signage, especially at access points, explaining to both anglers and non-anglers who the controlling club is and where they can buy fishing membership.

This is our standard signage template.

To order your signs

Contact the fisheries team and we'll email you a form to complete so we can order the signs for you through our signage supplier:

The current price is £10.30 +VAT per sign, plus a little extra for fixings if needed. Delivery cost is usually between £10 and £30, depending on the amount you order. You can pay by card, cheque or BACCs. You can also get your own signs made to our approved standard signage template.

Old Tonge, Bolton bridge sign

You'll need permission to install signs

You must agree everything locally before going ahead, ordering and subsequently installing signage on our waterways, just in case you need any special fixings or advice on where you want to install your signs.

Electric cables

For instance, in some places along our waterways, there are underground fibre optic cables and even high voltage cables buried under the towpath.

Listed structures

Similarly, many of our bridges are actually listed structures. Our helpful heritage team will always need to be consulted. You'll need to have an onsite meeting with the local operative before you place an order, even if you're just replacing an existing angling club sign.

Angling sign Bridge 1 Braunston Coventry

Contact your local team

Contact us and ask to be put in touch with your regional team. Make sure you provide the address details of the potential location of the signs.

Temporary signs for fishing matches

It's a good idea to tell other anglers and towpath visitors if you are planning and/or holding a match. Please download and use our recommended MS Word template, adding relevant wording in the boxes. If you have any problems downloading it please contact us.

Avoid confusion

Your signs must be clear and accurate, so they cannot possibly be misinterpreted by other waterway users. For instance, we've found signs over the years that implied the canal was closed to all customers when that was not the case. This unfortunately led to many concerns and complaints from boaters and walkers about access. When we looked into it, we found that the canal was only closed to other anglers asking them not fish a particular length due to an upcoming fishing competition.

Share the space

So to avoid any confusion remember to share the space when running fishing events. Towpaths can get busy, so display A-frame signage at the start and end of the pegs to let walkers, joggers, cyclists and boaters know that a match or taster session for new anglers is going on and that they need to take it easy.

Signing of overhead electrical powerlines

Our regional teams are also responsible for all signage for overhead electrical powerlines. If you come across a situation where signage has gone missing, please contact us immediately.

In some places, and subject to a full risk assessment, the 30 metre rule can be varied where it is deemed safe to do so. Occasionally telephone wires have also been signed as powerlines by mistake. Should you discover this, email us and we will arrange an initial site visit.

Installing permanent peg numbers

Peg number designs

Permanent peg numbers help define the actual fishing spot, therefore reducing the need to clear bushes and trees away for the fishing spot. They also help reduce the threat of littering from bits of paper and reduce the risk of nails being left inadvertently in situ. Uncollected nails have caused nasty accidents to pets in the past, causing clubs to have to call on their third-party public liability insurance cover. These images show our preferred design.

Please do not use spray paint or anything else that detracts from the traditional canal environment. If in doubt, email us for further advice.


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Last Edited: 15 December 2020

photo of a location on the canals
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