Copyright 2012 (c) Dungeness Angling Association, All rights reserved
Dungeness Angling Association was formed in 1998, by Phil Tapp, when the Coastguard sold off their lookout tower at Dungeness and the new owner dug up all the hard standing for cars used by local fishermen. Phil negotiated with the local Environment Agency (EA) to use the shingle haul road when not moving shingle and he asked Tony Hills for assistance (at the time a local Lydd Town Councillor and now on the DAA Committee). The original plan was to help the Romney Marsh Countryside Project (RMCP) officer Owen Leyshon to list clubs wanting to fish the point to avoid overcrowding. Over the years this role has shifted from RMCP to the DAA.
The DAA has worked successfully with RMCP which works as an offshoot from the White Cliffs Project at Dover, part funded by Natural England (NE) to look after the Special Area of Conservation.
RMCP has been battling with the rubbish problem around the ‘point’ for years with organised beach cleans but the problem was getting worse. NE organised a forum held in Lydd and asked local residents and organisations to attend to find a solution to the litter problem. Dungeness beach is now regularly cleaned by a cleaner employed by Dover District Council and partly funded by DAA. DAA has also contributed towards the cost of providing fox proof bins. The club has committee members keeping an ‘eye’ on the gate and acting as a bailiff, assisting anglers on the beach.
Dungeness gets over one million visitors a year with no public conveniences! It is not just fishermen but naturalists, bird watchers, holiday makers, film makers and the list goes on. Dungeness is unique, a private estate and a working nature reserve, the biggest shingle peninsula in Europe and Britain’s only desert!
Dungeness is an example of how beach anglers working with varied interest groups can share a unique location working together to maintain and look after it. Over the years thanks to an active committee the club membership has risen to up to a thousand members, fluctuating with the appearance of the cod, bass and mackerel.
DAA has an electronic database of members capturing mail addresses that can be used for advising members of important matters and events. At least one newsletter is published each year and posted to current members prior to the AGM. A website has also been created to keep members advised of membership details, including the rules and events.
Yes, most anglers join just to get access to the concrete road but an ever growing number are buying into protecting Dungeness now and for the future.