The Angling Trust | NEWS
- Angling remains a viable option to stay active, engage with the environment and deliver both physical and mental wellbeing following recent government directives
- Fishing alone near home fits with social distancing guidelines
- Environment Agency and Sport England, as well as angling retailers, brands, associations, venues and ambassadors join the nationwide push to keep people active during current crisis
In response to the developing COVID-19 crisis, the Angling Trust, the national governing body for the sport in England, is leading the way for the angling community to unite and remain active by getting outdoors and going fishing.
As the nation moves towards isolation and social distancing to combat the pandemic, anglers can still find solace in getting outside and to local waterways. Physical activity is still advised and angling provides a gateway to the outdoors. Fishing provides engagement with the natural environment whilst maintaining a safe distance from others. Furthermore, with mental health becoming a significant factor for many who may lack any other stimulus or contact when restricted to the home, angling presents a great way to get outside into nature, forgetting the daily stresses and promoting healthy activity.
Chief Executive of the Angling Trust, Jamie Cook said: “In these testing and unprecedented times we’re more focused than ever on highlighting angling as a vehicle for staying active, engaging with the environment and combating the challenges to mental health and wellbeing presented by prolonged periods of isolation. It remains as important as ever to maintain social distancing to contain the spread of the virus, but by getting out and fishing on your own, or with the loved ones around you at home, anglers can stay active and keep fishing to maintain some normality and help those who need the time outside for mental wellbeing.
“There are over 2-million anglers in England and some might be wondering if they can still go fishing. They should know they have the support of the Angling Trust as well as the wider angling community. For those who have fished in the past, or those precluded from participating in their usual hobby or sport I would encourage you to get out fishing. Fishing is accessible to all the family, and is completely inclusive regardless of age or ability We are here to help and are working with industry partners and the Environment Agency to ensure anyone can go fishing successfully and legally at a location close to home.”
Comedian Paul Whitehouse salmon fishing
Comedian Paul Whitehouse, a keen angler who is also an Angling Trust Ambassador added: “Obviously as a country it’s important that we follow the Government’s advice to the letter. In the meantime, where we are allowed out to get exercise and fresh air – fishing provides a fantastic opportunity to get out, stay active and switch off from the very stressful situation we all find ourselves in together. Fishing has certainly helped me during difficult times in my life.”
Andrew Race, Managing Director of the Angling Trades Association, the voice of the British Angling Industry, also lent his support to the campaign. “Angling is one of those pastimes that promotes wellbeing both physically and mentally and the Angling Trades Association is focussed on promoting those ideals through its members. As the angling trade, our job is to ensure that wherever possible during the current crisis and beyond, anglers continue to have access to essentials such as bait to enable them to continue going fishing and encourage others into the sport.”
The community push to help facilitate includes the retailers and brands who are making it as simple as possible for people to get the equipment they need to get out fishing. Leading fishing tackle producer Korum has committed support to the cause with Korum Brand Manager Mat Woods adding: “Springtime is a wonderful way to appreciate nature at its finest. Fighting back from cold, dark days to brighten the world with flora, fauna, birds, bees, bugs and for us anglers, nice big fish. It’s unclear what the pandemic really means for our short term future, but if we want angling to stay strong for years to come, it’s important we stay engaged and active in the pursuit we love. I for one will be fishing as often as I can, for as long as I can – which in turn supports all those fisheries and retailers for when the dust settles. So go fishing! It’s awesome.”
BBC TV presenter, writer and Angling Trust Ambassador, Will Millard also said: “Self-Isolation does not have to mean total isolation. Getting out into nature safely is very achievable on many of our waterways and fishing offers total meditation. Grab a rod, get some fresh air, feel better.”
This motivation follows the UK Government’s advice to start social distancing which includes working from home when possible, spending less time in public places, and avoiding social venues. The Angling Trust encourages you to stay positive, to get fishing and motivate others to do the same. You only need a small amount of tackle and an Environment Agency fishing rod licence to get outdoors and active at your local canal, river or lake and fishing in the sea is completely free. Want help? www.getfishing.org.uk has tips, venues and videos to show you how simple angling can be!