Going fishing is a wonderful way to spend quality time with family and friends and has proven mental health and wellbeing benefits. Fishing licence holding anglers will be able to register for a free one-day Environment Agency fishing licence worth £6 to take someone they know fishing. To take advantage of this offer, all that licence holding anglers need to do is to visit www.takeafriendfishing.co.uk.
Jamie Cook CEO of the Angling Trust said “We are thrilled to be able to drive the Take a Friend Fishing initiative forward and I applaud the Environment Agency for taking this proactive step to build on the work the Angling Trust have done to get fishing back and then to grow angling participation. We need to seize this opportunity which allows both experienced and new anglers, as well as those returning to the sport, the opportunity to share the experience, sew the seed and help their friends and families take that first step to establishing a fishing habit.”
With licence sales booming following angling restrictions being lifted, now is the ideal time for the angling community to come together and help to increase participation in the sport. Andrew Race who recently took over as Chairman of the Angling Trades Association (ATA) said “The decision by the Environment Agency to extend the Take a Friend Fishing initiative cannot be underestimated. It reflects the cooperative potential and commitment to angling that now exists between the major stakeholders. I feel privileged to be ATA chair at this exciting time and would urge the trade as a whole to look at what we are achieving and support this initiative”.
Kevin Austin, Deputy Director for Agriculture, Fisheries and the Natural Environment at the Environment Agency said “Angling is a great way to spend time outdoors whilst remaining a safe distance, has known wellbeing benefits and what’s more, anyone can participate. The Environment Agency, Angling Trust and the Angling Trades Association fully support the Take a Friend Fishing initiative which invites newcomers to discover the positives around this sport for themselves. The success of the recent relaunch and increase in licence sales since the lockdown period has shown the enthusiasm that exists and so we are extending the free one day licence offer again so that we can grow our angling community even more!”
Members of the angling trade have responded positively, welcoming the initiative, and adding their support.
Ali Hamidi of Korda/Guru said “We are extremely excited to launch the #takeafriendfishing campaign in conjunction with the Angling Trades Association, Environment Agency and The Angling Trust! The surge that fishing has seen during these difficult months has been remarkable. It is our responsibility as anglers across the UK to show the splendour of our beloved pastime to friends and family who have never been lucky enough to enjoy this amazing hobby. The sport deserves to thrive, the mental and physical benefits are phenomenal, and we should all carry the torch of angling proudly and help others get involved. This scheme will really make a difference to people’s lives so every major brand and all anglers should do their bit from August the 14th. Go make someone’s dreams come true.”
Mat Woods, Brand Manager at Korum has welcomed the extension “I think everyone involved in the angling industry realises the magnitude of the current situation. Anglers are fishing more often, lapsed anglers are returning, and the wave of new anglers is exciting and momentous. These remarkable times are providing a unique insight into how many anglers there could be. We have all dreamed of these numbers and our focus must now shift to retaining them. The extension of Take A Friend Fishing is superb news as it breaks down one of the barriers to engaging with the sport. Taking someone fishing gives you an opportunity to take an active part in angling and its future. Let’s head in the right direction whilst we’ve got the wind in our sails and let’s do it together.”
The extension will benefit all areas of the sport with September a great month to catch fish on the fly. Brian Campbell-Kearsey, Orvis UK commented: “Orvis are excited to be involved with this year’s Take a Friend Fishing initiative. Now it has been extended to run from 14th August to 4th October, it means for the first time, people will be able to invite a friend to enjoy fly fishing in September, one of the best times of year to fly fish. Orvis are committed to making fly fishing more inclusive and accessible and this worthwhile initiative fits perfectly with our ethos. We are planning some events to encourage people to introduce their friends to this fantastic sport and engage in nature and the outdoors.” Cook added “Some of my best fishing has come through September, it’s a brilliant time to be on the bank and I will certainly be taking advantage of this opportunity to introduce friends…I hope many anglers will do the same.”
For more information and to get a free one-day fishing licence to Take a Friend Fishing, fishing licence holding anglers just need to go to www.takeafriendfishing.co.uk and provide some simple contact details including their fishing licence number and the date of the fishing trip. This will notify their friend who, after checking their details are correct, will be able to go fishing with the fishing licence holder, on the selected day using their own free one-day fishing licence.
Angling can still be practiced safely and has seen a boom in participation numbers after being one of the first sports to return on 13th May after lockdown guidelines were relaxed. The Angling Trust – the national representative and governing body for angling in England regularly updates its guidelines to anglers, clubs, fisheries, coaches and other angling organisations to ensure fishing can comply with the latest Government guidance during the Covid-19 epidemic.
The extended Take a Friend Fishing runs from August 14th to the October 4th. That means that during the extended period there are eight weekends that you can encourage your audience to take a friend fishing.
Get a free Take a Friend Fishing one-day fishing licence:
Notes for editors:
Take a Friend Fishing is a partnership between the Angling Trust, Environment Agency and Angling Trades Association. The campaign focuses on making it as easy as possible for an existing angler to take someone they know fishing. It is part of the Get Fishing campaign run by the Angling Trust the national representative and governing body for angling in England. This work is supported by Environment Agency fishing licence income and helps to introduce thousands of people to fishing each year. www.anglingtrust.net
Under the current government guidelines, you can go fishing but only alone, with members of your household, or with up to, but no more than 5 other people. From 4 July, two households can also meet, provided members of different households can follow social distancing guidelines. You should always follow social distancing guidelines when encountering others. The most up-to-date information on these restrictions can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
The Environment Agency funds the Angling Trust to provide more opportunities for people to go fishing and encourage sales of fishing rod licences. Money from fishing licence sales is spent on improving fisheries habitat and angling infrastructure through projects like the Angling Improvement Fund.
You normally need a valid Environment Agency Rod Licence if you are aged 13 or over and fish for salmon, trout, freshwater fish, smelt or eel in England (except the River Tweed), Wales, and the Border Esk and its tributaries in Scotland. An annual licence only costs £30 for up to 2 rods to fish for coarse fish & trout. Concessionary, short term and three rod coarse licences are also available. Visit www.gov.uk/fishing-licences/buy-a-fishing-licence to buy one online. www.gov.uk/government/organisations/environment-agency
The Angling Trades Association (ATA) is the voice of the British Angling industry, aiming to unite the industry, promote and protect our loved sport. The ATA represents angling manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, fisheries, publishers, and distributors. www.anglingtradesassociation.com.
Media Contact: James Roche – [email protected] 07791 786 251