Angling Trust welcome news over fishing return

Angling looks set for a return Picture: John Bailey

Angling looks set for a return Picture: John Bailey - Credit: Archant

Angling’s governing body has given a warm welcome to the announcement that recreational fishing looks set to resume in England on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced the resumption of “unlimited outdoor sports” providing they are conducted alone or with members of the same household and that social distancing rules are followed at all times.

A government source confirmed that “outdoor exercise includes angling, golf, water sports and tennis providing social distanced from Wednesday”.

The decision to include outdoor activities such as angling in the first wave of newly-permitted activities followed weeks of intense advocacy and lobbying by the Angling Trust.

The Prime Minister is making a full statement to the House of Commons on Monday and the Angling Trust will be seeking clarification about the reopening of tackle shops and confirmation of any restrictions on how angling should be practised during the next phase.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP tweeted: “In the least risky outdoor environments we can imminently allow sports like golf, basketball, tennis and fishing.”

Last month, a report from the Angling Trust entitled ‘When We Fish Again’ was submitted to Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove and the Fisheries and Sports Ministers arguing for recreational fishing to be designated as one of the first permitted outdoor sports when ministers begin to relax the coronavirus lockdown restrictions. It was backed by national angling and fisheries groups including the Canal & River Trust, Salmon & Trout Conservation, the Institute of Fisheries Management and representatives of the angling trade which is estimated to be worth a total of £4bn to the UK economy.

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Angling Trust CEO Jamie Cook said: “I couldn’t be more pleased to see the hard work of the Angling Trust and our supporters delivering such an outstanding result for everyone who loves to go fishing. We have demonstrated to the satisfaction of government that angling can be permitted as a safe, healthy, beneficial outdoor activity and why it can take its rightful position at the front of the queue as restrictions are relaxed.”