Anglers Against Litter

Anglers United Against Litter: Angling Trust launch litter snapshot survey

In an ambitious move towards a cleaner environment, the Angling Trust is mobilising its Anglers Against Litter volunteers to understand more about the litter problems blighting our riverbanks and countryside.

More than 147 clubs and 1,370 volunteers are already involved in the nationwide “Anglers Against Litter” initiative. The campaign is now taking the next step to better understand how to manage the volume of litter that ends up in our waterways and find solutions to stop the tide of rubbish.

Anglers, known for their fervent passion for the waters they fish, have long been at the forefront of river restoration and conservation efforts. These unsung environmental guardians have dedicated countless hours to litter picks across lakes, rivers, and beaches.

Since its inception in 2020, the Angling Trust’s Anglers Against Litter campaign has made significant strides in combating environmental waste with over 450 organised events aimed at reducing litter. Additionally, the campaign has facilitated the distribution of 110 recycling bins across the nation as part of the Line Recycling Scheme.

Despite these endeavours, a comprehensive understanding of the litter landscape, including the types of litter carried by rivers and geographical disparities, remains elusive. This knowledge gap has not only hindered targeted clean-up efforts but has also unfairly cast anglers in a negative light, with misplaced blame for the litter problem.

A snapshot survey of waterside rubbish, spearheaded by Anglers Against Litter volunteers, seeks to rectify this, highlighting the positive impact of anglers while gathering crucial data to bolster advocacy against plastic pollution, littering, and illegal dumping of business waste.

Survey Methodology: An Insight into Action

Set to run annually during the regular “Anglers Against Litter” events in the coarse fishing closed season, the survey will gather data about rubbish collected from angling club litter picks which is then entered into the Epicollect5 data gathering platform, enabling both real-time and post-activity data entry. Anglers, individually or in groups, are encouraged to engage in a five-minute litter pick at their chosen spot, cataloguing their findings to shed light on the different and most common types of litter collected.

This data not only promises to provide an annual snapshot of the litter situation across urban and rural, freshwater and marine environments, but also to track emerging trends, such as the alarming appearance of single-use face masks during the COVID pandemic, and the recent trend of disposable vape litter.

From Clubs to Individuals: Everyone Plays a Part

Whether it’s a club undertaking a coordinated effort or an individual angler adding a litter pick to their fishing trip, the survey is designed to be inclusive and adaptable. The Angling Trust has laid out clear guidelines for safe and effective participation, including selecting safe sites, performing risk assessments, and properly disposing of the collected litter, with a specific call to recycle fishing lines through the Anglers National Line Recycling Scheme (ANLRS).

Why Epicollect?

The choice of Epicollect for its accessibility, ease of use, and comprehensive features make it an ideal tool for this ambitious survey. The trust already uses Epicollect to gather data to track and analyse the findings of its Water Quality Monitoring Network. By harnessing this technology, the Angling Trust aims to create a detailed and dynamic database of litter in the UK’s waterways, further empowering their conservation efforts.

A Call to Arms

This snapshot survey represents a new data lead front in the battle against litter in our waterways. It’s an opportunity for the angling community to unite, showcase their environmental stewardship, and contribute to a dataset that will fuel the fight against pollution. The Angling Trust’s initiative is a clarion call to all who treasure the UK’s waterways to play their part in preserving these vital ecosystems for future generations.

As this innovative survey launches, it’s clear that the stakes are high, but so is the commitment of the angling community. With rod and litter picker in hand, they’re setting out not just to enjoy the waterways, but to safeguard them, one piece of litter at a time.

For more information, to participate in the survey, or to learn about the impact of this initiative, see the “Litter Snapshot Litter Survey Volunteer Pack” and “Survey Sheet.”

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