VOLUNTEERS repaired angling platforms in the River Wear in time for the start of the coarse fishing season.

Helpers from Chester-Le-Street Angling Club and from the Durham Cathedral Riverbank Project worked on the platforms at Chester-le-Street’s Riverside Park

and between Prebends and Elvet bridges on Durham Peninsula.

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Coarse fishing starts on Monday, June 16.

Eighteen platforms, some with disabled access, were installed In 2011 by the Wear Rivers Trust and Environment Agency .

Trust project officer, Steve Hudson said: “The platforms are located along some of the most accessible parts of the river and need ongoing maintenance to ensure they are safe to use.

“We rely on volunteers to help us with this work and without them access to these stretches would not be possible.”

Lloyd Atkinson, of Chester-le-Street Angling Club, said: “If the angling platforms are well-maintained and remain accessible for the whole season it will encourage more people to get involved with angling and take an interest in the river.”

To use the Chester-le-Street platforms fishermen need to buy a day ticket from the Riverside Leisure Centre or by joining the local club for £40 a year (£10 for juniors).

The Durham platforms are open to people who join Durham City Angling Club, which costs £60 a year for adults and £10 for juniors.

Chester-le-Street Riverside complex can be contacted on 03000-266447 and Chester-le-Street Angling Club membership applications are available from chester-le-street-angling-club.co.uk and Durham City Angling Club can be contacted via their website durhamanglers.co.uk