The row ponds were originally dammed over 450 years ago by the parkland workers in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
In 1942 paratroopers from Britain and Poland exploded the pond heads during World War II live military exercises, leaving behind only a trickling brook.
In 1963 a small group of local people started to renovate the 5 ponds and the Bess of Hardwick Angling Club was founded.
It took 10 years for these founder members to complete their backbreaking work, generously giving their personal time, to complete this massive project.
In those early days ‘the spirit of generosity’ between the club and its members was created, and this relationship binds us together to this day!
Our Founders legacy - To Respect and Care for each other, the Responsibility for our Flora and Fauna and to take Pride in our Beautiful Location.
A Distinguished Club of Anglers.
The club has always chosen to be a small group of member anglers ‘by invitation’, who share in the ethos and values of the club and respect the Founders legacy.
Our association with the National Trust and the Hardwick Estate are vitally important to the club. They are tremendous landlords of our ponds and we constantly strive to be an exemplary tenant.
The club's members worked very closely with the National Trust estate management and warden teams to support and maintain the correct ecological balance and beauty of the Row Ponds Valley.
The Hardwick Park Estate is a beautiful piece of British countryside, open to all. Whilst angling on the Row Ponds is exclusive to our members, we warmly welcome the public walking in this stunning valley.
The club is committed to upholding the very best of angling standards. We are a member of the Angling Trust and the Protection of Course Fishing Waters and Wildlife organisations and take this commitment seriously.
Our membership is very wide, from young to ‘life experienced’ and from novice to ‘Champion Angler’, with all backgrounds and professions welcomed. All we ask is that club members subscribe to the very best of angling standards and personal behaviour.
Service - The Heart of our Member Relationship
This is at the heart of the relationship between club and member, with the club encouraging every member to make a positive difference to the running of the club in whatever way they feel appropriate. This is how such a small club has succeeded for over 50 years and is a secret that will keep us successful and a great club to be part of for many years to come.
From its very early days the Bess of Hardwick Angling Club has been a voluntary organisation, run by members for the members. Our sole purpose is to enable ‘a great group of people, to enjoy exceptional fishing, in a stunning location’.
Many lifelong friendships have been formed and every member carries the responsibility of upholding the ‘Legacy of the Founders’, which is ‘To Respect and Care for each other, the Responsibility for our Flora and Fauna and to take Pride in our Beautiful Location.’
When they're not sat alone on the bankside, this great group of people also have a lot of fun sharing time together socially at club meetings and events, supporting our chosen charity every year by giving their time to fundraise so generously.
Our very special angling club has a history that we’re rightfully proud of, BoHAC is now recognised as one of the most prestigious angling clubs in the UK, and we are currently shaping the next phase of our journey to ensure the club's future is even more exciting.