Environment Agency extends partnership with Angling Trust

  • The Environment Agency’s contract with the Angling Trust has been extended until March 2023.
  • The priorities include reducing predation, biosecurity advice, tackling illegal fishing and encouraging more people to go fishing across the country.
  • The contract is funded by income from fishing licence sales and is worth £1.35 million a year, with the Angling Trust bringing over £1 million of match funding to the work.

The Environment Agency has extended its contract with the Angling Trust to undertake essential angling services, including tackling illegal angling and encouraging more people to go fishing across the country.

The contract is funded by income from fishing licence sales and is worth £1.35 million a year. It will run until March 2023.

The services provided by the contract complement the Environment Agency’s regulatory work to protect and improve fisheries through monitoring and managing fish stocks. The work agreed over the next two years has carefully considered the ongoing effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on angling.

The Angling Trust has played a vital role during the pandemic in providing guidance to anglers and fisheries based on the latest Government advice.

Over 100,000 more people bought a licence and went fishing in 2020 compared to the previous year. Many felt the impact of the associated mental health and well-being benefits, and the contract will focus on maintaining this renewed interest as well as efforts to continue to grow popularity for the sport.

The boost in licence sales over the last year has resulted in the Environment Agency reinvesting money in more projects that benefit anglers, fisheries and local clubs. A new initiative administered by the Angling Trust has been the Get Fishing Fund which is supporting clubs and fisheries to organise and run angling participation events in 2021.

Heidi Stone, Fisheries Partnership Manager, said:

“This contract extension provides a range of vital services for anglers across the country. Over the past year, the Angling Trust has shown flexibility and innovation in helping us support the angling community through an extremely testing time. We are confident that by working together, angling will continue to flourish and provide a popular pastime for more and more people”.

Jamie Cook, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust, said:

“We are delighted that the Environment Agency is continuing to reinvest licence income on services provided by the Angling Trust that will be of great benefit to anglers. The past 12 months have shown the value of having a strong, united voice for angling and we are proud of the role the Angling Trust has played throughout the pandemic in highlighting the mental health and wellbeing benefits of angling and demonstrating how fishing can be conducted in a safe, Covid-compliant environment. We look forward to continuing to partner the Environment Agency over the next two years.”

The current National Angling Strategic Services 2 contractual arrangements are due to end on March 31st, 2021 and the extension will commence on April 1st for a further two years. The contract was originally advertised and procured through an open and competitive tendered process.

The contract priorities are:

  • recruiting and retaining more anglers,
  • providing expert advice on tackling non-native or invasive species, reducing predation and discouraging littering,
  • sharing important information with anglers on the fisheries issues that matter to them through social media and face-to-face forums;
  • building effective enforcement partnerships with the police, angling clubs and fishery owners through the Voluntary Bailiff Service and Building Bridges project (aimed at educating and integrating migrant anglers about England’s angling laws and rules).


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