Get Fishing | Shotton Hall Spring into Fishing - Shotton Hall Header 2500px -DSC06811-2

Get Fishing News

Get Fishing Fund – Funded Project: Shotton Hall Angling Club brings angling opportunities to the north east

On the outskirts of Peterlee, close to Durham, lies a small half-acre, mature and tree-lined pond that’s appeared as a fish-pond on old Ordnance Survey maps for over 150 years. The beautiful waters contain a natural stock of traditional freshwater fish including tench, roach, bream, rudd, perch, eels, crucian carp and a small number 0f common and mirror carp – a wonderful and diverse mixed species habitat.

It’s believed that the pond – which lies in the grounds of Shotton Hall – is in fact as old as the house itself built in in 1760 and now a designated Grade Two Protected Building, decorated and furnished in the style of the period and set amongst extensive and beautifully landscaped gardens.

Shotton Hall is located between Hartlepool, Sunderland and Durham and now houses the offices of Peterlee Town Council. Unfortunately, the pond has been subject to anti-social behaviour over the years which has led to damage to the site, litter, discarded tackle and the like.

However, a couple of local Anglers, Mr Sam Harris MBE and Mr Stephen Cullen approached the council with a view of starting a fishing club in order to educate and alleviate this ant-social behaviour. The Council were very much behind and supportive of this idea and subsequent meetings were held with Sam Harris, Stephen Cullen, Dave Munt, the Angling Trust’s Regional Angling Development Officer for North East England, Niall Cook from the Environment Agency, Kevin Woodcock from the Angling Trust’s Fishery Enforcement Support Service as well as Police Officers from Peterlee Constabulary Police. The aim was to discuss the creation of a community angling club to address the issues and the possibility to reinvest revenue raised by allowing the fishing rights to the pond to be managed by anglers working on the upkeep of the pond as a natural habitat.

Get Fishing | Shotton Hall Environment Agency Fish Survey

Fish survey by Environment Agency Fisheries Team at Shotton Hall Pond

One of the first steps taken was an Environment Agency survey of the water to determine the make-up of the fish population. The survey revealed that the flourishing fish biomass had led to over-crowding. Some fish were not reaching their full potential, and their growth was stunted. To address the situation, a good head of the pond’s bream were removed and transferred to nearby Hartlepool & District Angling Club, hoping to even-out some of the species in the pond. 2023 saw the club receive a small number of crucian carp from the Environment Agency’s Calverton Fish Farm with the clubs aim of conservation of this species working along-side the National Crucian Conservation Project.

After advertising for membership for the new angling club, the Shotton Hall Angling Club website was built, and a new Facebook page created– which has resulted in a growing and thriving membership, bringing new angling opportunities to a wide urban catchment from the nearby towns, and all the associated health and wellbeing benefits that spending time in nature and by water can bring to citizens.

Stephen Cullen, the clubs owner and manager made a successful funding application to the Get Fishing Fund. The award received is now funding angling coaching sessions, the first of which were at the “Spring into Fishing” event held on the 4th of May 2024 with many fish being caught and safely returned by lots of junior anglers beginning their journey on the Angling Trust Get Fishing Award, bronze, silver and gold award pathway to what is hoped will be a lifelong angling habit.

Thanks to Stephen Cullen for the Spring into Fishing photos.

The Get Fishing Fund has invested nearly £200,000 of fishing licence money to help get more people into fishing over the past year.

You can find information on the latest round of the Get Fishing Fund here, or please contact James Roche on [email protected].

Want to learn how to fish or where to take your family fishing? Contact your Regional Angling Development Officer and they will put you in touch with your local fishing coach or let you know about your closest Environment Agency funded ‘Get Fishing‘ events.


What is the Get Fishing Fund?

The Get Fishing Fund has invested nearly £200,000 of fishing licence money to help get more people into fishing over the past year. The fund is provided by the Environment Agency and administered by the Angling Trust. The Environment Agency supports angling-based projects with grants of up to £2,500 to help purchase equipment, fishing tackle, resources and run fishing activities that give people the opportunity to get into fishing for the first time.

About Get Fishing

Get Fishing is the Angling Trust‘s campaign to grow participation in angling and get more people fishing more often. Annually, the Get Fishing campaign introduces over 30,000 people to angling at hundreds of fun, safe and friendly events funded by the Environment Agency from fishing licence income as part of the National Angling Strategic Services contract with the Angling Trust, and Sport England. Children under 13 do not need a fishing licence, and fishing licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free but you still need to register and receive a licence before you start fishing. You can get a fishing licence for the full year, for 8 days (ideal for holidays!) or just a day’s fishing.

The Angling Trust’s ‘Get Fishing’ campaign is proudly supported by
Shakespeare, Exclusive Tackle Partner and Angling Direct, Exclusive Retail Partner
as we all work towards getting more people fishing, more often.

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