Risk Assessment

This is a generic risk assessment for all lakes under the control of SWS Fisheries Limited.

Whilst not exhaustive, this risk assessment covers in detail the risks associated with fishing within the boundaries of the SWS Fisheries Limited lakes for The Larkfield Complex and Castle Lake.

It is the duty of SWS Fisheries to familiarize its members, officials and all visiting anglers with the principals of safety and this risk assessment. All members, officials and visiting anglers should make themselves aware of the risks they face in the surroundings. They find themselves and carry out their own risk assessment which generally amounts to common sense and take the appropriate action and controls to ensure their own safety and that of others. However, it is a requirement that all anglers read, understand and accept this Safety & Risk Assessment Statement.


Can be deceptive in depth. What looks to be 2ft deep can be 6ft! Some areas will have deep pools. The lakes on the Larkfield complex are very deep up to 25ft so take extra precautions when fishing at Larkfield. There are warning signs around the complex warning of the dangers of swimming and diving ensure all members adhere to this


Beware of undercuts in banks and take particular care when banks are wet and slippery. Take extra care when walking to and from the banks paying attention to holes and trip hazards, Foliage that is overgrown or in bloom.

Falling in the Water:

Falling in the water may cause drowning. When fishing from the banks and designated swims take time to familiarize yourself with your immediate surroundings paying attention to the edges so avoiding trips and overstepping.

Power Lines:

Beware of walking or fishing under power lines and remember that electricity can travel over considerable distances. You are ideally earthed when in the water and graphite (rod?) is an excellent conductor.

Weather conditions:

The weather may change suddenly and cause unforeseen dangerous conditions. Be constantly aware of changing weather and its consequences. Pay particular attention to lightning as rods and poles can act as very good electrical conductors.

Exposure to Sun:

In sunny conditions it is recommended that you wear a hat and sunglasses, keep your skin always covered. Use a high factor sunscreen/lotion and apply regularly.

Winter & Hypothermia:

Ensure that suitable clothing is worn at all times, take plenty of hot drinks and food. Do not enter the water at any time, Check the weather forecast.


Fishing under trees can be unsafe especially in windy conditions. Beware of falling branches. Do not climb trees or attempt to cut/remove branches.


Rats, Swans, Wasps, Snakes, Foxes may be encountered. It is best not to approach any animals and avoid at all costs, If you do come into contact with any animal do not panic back away and seek alternative route.
Birds: Swans are rarely aggressive but are best left alone. Especially when using a boat on open water.


To avoid contact with insects use and apply appropriate insect lotions, anaphylactic shock is a real risk if you are known to suffer from anaphylactic shock, please ensure you are suitably prepared and let the bailiff team know.


Wiels disease is transmitted in Rat and Cow urine. Never put wet line or equipment in your mouth. Wash your hands or use antiseptic wipes before eating or drinking. Use waterproof plasters on cuts or abrasions. Undesirable bacteria may be present in animal droppings and the lake water. Keep all food items including cutlery and cooking equipment covered and bags or containers.

Night Fishing:

Hazards at night are increased. Set your bivvy up in daylight hours so as to be aware of your surroundings. Carry a torch and headlamp. Keep walking around in the dark to a minimum. Do not run along banks. Do not leave rods unattended. Let family & friends know where you are fishing and for how long. Carry a mobile phone.


Do not at any point act irresponsibly or engage in horse play.

Members of the public:

Please be aware that the Larkfield complex is used by members of the public. Be courteous at all times and friendly remember you are representing SWS Fisheries Limited. Do not enter into any aggressive behavior and report any incidents to the bailiff team or via the SWS Fisheries website


Do not exceed the 5mph speed limit when using the roads and only park in designated areas. Give way to all pedestrians and cyclists. Pay particular attention to dogs both on a lead and off the lead.

Roadways and paths:

Pay attention when using the roadways or paths these can be subject to slippery conditions when wet and have potholes appear that may have not been there previously.


Pay particular attention to cyclist when on the complex especially when exiting a swim or using the paths as they are often travelling at speed and can come up on you unexpectedly.

Boat Usage:

SWS has a rule book and set requirements for members using boats see SWS website for further details:

General Care and precautions: Avoid excessive use of alcohol, do not use recreational-drugs. Take a small first aid kit with you. Pay attention to sharp objects hooks, knives, bivvy pegs, bank sticks. Fish to your abilities and take care when casting and do not take unnecessary risks.

Always let someone know you are heading out giving them your location expected time home, ensure you have a fully charged mobile telephone. Be prepared for your trip considering the outlined items above.

Whilst SWS Fisheries Limited takes the health & safety of its members seriously it is all our responsibility to act responsible whilst fishing on SWS waters.

If you see anything that gives you cause for concern please report this to a bailiff or to the club.
via www.swsfisheries.co.uk

Date of assessment: 4th October 2022

Review due: 4th October 2024

Assessment carried out by: Lee Ferguson, IOSH, NEBOSH Health & Safety adviser to SWS Fisheries Limited