Angling Trust

Thank you to all our volunteers – your contribution to our work is amazing!

To celebrate Volunteers Week (3-9 June), the Angling Trust wants to say a big ‘Thank You’ to all the incredible volunteers who make an amazing contribution to our work.

Whether you are a Voluntary Bailiff keeping watch on rivers and lakes for fish theft or poaching, a volunteer helping to clear invasive species from our waters, assisting at a competition or Get Fishing event, helping to educate migrant anglers through our Building Bridges project, carrying out water quality testing on your local river for Anglers Against Pollution, taking part in a litter pick as part of our Anglers Against Litter campaign, reporting for the Catchwise Sea Angling Survey, helping to run one of our fundraising events, or some other voluntary work on behalf of the Angling Trust or Fish Legal, you truly make a difference to angling and your communities.

This year, Volunteers Week is celebrating its 40th anniversary and the Angling Trust is presenting Volunteering Excellence Awards to those volunteers who have gone the extra mile. Here are the latest recipients:

Mark Longthorne – Voluntary Bailiff

Mark received a Royal Humane Society award for his action in helping to save the life of an angler in Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, last August. Mark found the man intoxicated on the side of the river and alerted the emergency services. When they hadn’t arrived two hours later, he called again and when police arrived, they had to rescue the man – in his 40s – from a weir pool. He was then taken by ambulance to hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

Paul Holden and Richard Bendall – Voluntary Bailiffs

Paul and Richard have received their awards for their consistently high levels of patrols and incident recording for the Voluntary Bailiff Service in the South East.

Tony Rayner – Voluntary Bailiff

Since joining the VBS in April 2023, Tony has demonstrated that he is a dedicated and committed voluntary bailiff through his continued and regular patrol and incident reports to the secure VBS site. This greatly assists fisheries enforcement and improves the intelligence-led policing ethos within the rural community. Tony has also been a regular attendee on Operation Traverse and Operation Clampdown patrols within his local area and again this level of dedication is admirable and worthy of this recognition with a Volunteering Excellence Award.

Nigel Perry – Voluntary Bailiff

Nigel has been a valued member of the Voluntary Bailiff Service in East Anglia for just over 12 months and in that time has proven himself as a skilled and excellent volunteer. Regularly involved in joint patrols with both the Environment Agency and Police, Nigel is a regular user of the secure VBS reporting portal with many quality information reports.

Rebecca Ecuyer – Voluntary Bailiff

Becci is an all-round angler and active member of Withnell Angling Club who has received an Angling Trust Volunteering Excellence Award for her outstanding commitment to fishing. Becci has a passion for angling and the environment and is always keen to protect and promote both. She joined the Voluntary Bailiff Service in May 2021 and regularly submits patrol posts on the Ribble and Darwen rivers, along with many club waters. A Level 2 coach, Becci is always willing to help out on joint patrols and litter picks, and has assisted with recent police training events concerning fisheries-related crime.

Paul Daysh – Voluntary Bailiff

Paul joined the Voluntary Bailiff Service in 2020 and has actively patrolled his local rivers and the canal around the Taunton area of Somerset in support of our fisheries enforcement support work since then. He has excellent knowledge and contacts in the local angling scene, not least because he is also a Level 2 coach and secretary of the Taunton Angling Association. Paul regularly reports patrols and incidents and even occasionally gets the chance to go fishing, such as with the lovely tench seen here. He has helped launch Operation Clampdown nationally in the past and actively supports local Fisheries Enforcement Officers from the Environment Agency whenever he can.

Paul Marsh – Voluntary Bailiff

Paul has been a voluntary bailiff in Gloucestershire for three years and brings with him a wealth of experience as a police officer in West Midlands Police, a local councillor, and as a representative of various fisheries groups in his area. As Deputy Area Coordinator, he has shown a high level of enthusiasm for the role and has supported his Area Coordinator and Regional Enforcement Support Manager admirably, by forming positive contacts with local police officers and the Environment Agency to organise joint patrols, attending multi-agency meetings and by setting up a VBS stall at the Gloucestershire Police Open day last year where the work of the VBS and Angling Trust was showcased. He has recently become a club bailiff for the Birmingham Anglers’ Association, to whom he has already provided solid support. An excellent organiser with bags of energy driven by his desire to protect local fisheries, Paul has been most effective in raising the profile of fisheries enforcement in the county and is a fine ambassador for the Angling Trust.

Stephen Ireland – Voluntary Bailiff

Steve is one of the ‘originals’ of the Midlands’ VBS from back in 2016 and has been a consistently trustworthy and reliable volunteer ever since. He was made Area Coordinator for Shropshire in 2023 and demonstrated that his enthusiasm was still as strong as ever by getting his group organised and developing a team ethic that didn’t exist before. Steve is very much a “people person” and cares very much about safety, welfare and ensuring that our volunteers are well supported, something that is demonstrated by his willingness to travel around the county making personal visits to voluntary bailiffs and providing advice and guidance. Likewise, his willingness to keep learning through best practice is exemplified by his excellent liaison with other ACs around the region and his deputy in Shropshire, with whom he works so well.

Aden Walker – Voluntary Bailiff

Aden is relatively new to the Voluntary Bailiff Service, but he put himself forward in 2023 to be an Area Coordinator after just a few months in the role, and such was his dynamism, creativity, and innovation, he was selected without hesitation, sharing the coordination role by becoming Deputy AC for Shropshire. Aden is a great organiser, using original ideas to bring people together with on the bank meetings and patrols, coffee chats, arranging events and fishing matches, and offering to provide support on a range of issues. He works well with his Area Coordinator and together they form the ‘dream team’ that the county has needed in VBS for a while. Always leading by example, Aden is a prolific user of the VBS website, posting regular patrol and incident reports and works well with the police and local authority, being employed as a manager for Shropshire County Council himself and using his wide-ranging skills from that role to good effect in VBS.

Ruslanas Vedrovas – Building Bridges

Ruslanas joined the Building Bridges team in 2019 and has regularly been out delivering our signage and leaflets to angling clubs, fisheries and tackle shops. He has helped build links with angling clubs and migrant communities around the South East of England. On top of this he is actively involved in multi-agency patrols across the country, joining up with the Environment Agency and rural police teams. His language skills have come in useful, and he has used his experience to help with coaching sessions to promote and protect the future of angling. Ruslanas has been recognised for his hard work and received an Angling Trust Volunteering Excellence Award for his efforts in community cohesion.

Christopher Dorey – Building Bridges

Christopher is an active Angling Trust volunteer who has received the award in appreciation of always being willing to help and support the Building Bridges team.

Sam Doidge – Anglers Against Pollution

Sam has been diligently monitoring multiple sites on the River Kent around Kendal in the Lake District since July 2022 as part of our Water Quality Monitoring Network initiative. He has single handedly recorded 85 samples developing an indepth understanding of water quality on the Kent.

Phil O’Callaghan – Anglers Against Pollution

Phil was one of the first volunteers to sign up to the Water Quality Monitoring Network pilot on the River Severn back in May 2022. Phil is a bailiff with Shrewsbury Town Fisheries and he has recorded 126 samples on the Severn around Shrewsbury. This data is contributing to plans to address water quality issues on the Severn.

Ian Tucker – Anglers Against Pollution

Ian is an inspiration to other Water Quality Monitoring Network volunteers and anyone looking to address water quality issues on their waters. Since October 2022, Ian has been figure-heading monitoring on the Medway in Kent. As part of a wider team of volunteers he has personally recorded 145 samples and is using the data to drive improvements on the Medway and its tributaries in collaboration with other angling clubs, the Environment Agency, South East Rivers Trust and Southern Water.

Carole Sanderson – Catchwise

Carole is one of the most committed volunteers on the Catchwise sea angling project. Since the very beginning of the fieldwork, she has made sure to understand the methods and goes out every month to collect data to support the project. She is always positive and happy to help. Carole is a very keen angler herself, and apart from Catchwise, she is also involved in several public awareness and other angling-related activities.

Dave Cosgrove – Catchwise

Dave is a Catchwise diamond! He has been volunteering for Catchwise since the very start of the project and has been very supportive of the project and its goals up to this day. He has gone surveying every month since, even during the cold winter, providing excellent data. Dave is a very reliable volunteer that you can count on.

Catch A Smile fishery – Get Fishing

The fishery is run by a group of volunteers and has continued to deliver fishing sessions to the local community and local disabled charities for the last few years.

Luke Rose – Get Fishing

Luke is from Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Team (NHS) and has run weekly sessions for those suffering from a first mental health episode. He uses fishing as a method of relaxation and an opportunity to talk and runs sessions at Packington Fishery.

The Reel Rod Squad – Get Fishing

The Reel Rod Squad is a group run by volunteer parents for local children and their families to ‘pick up a rod not a knife’. They have grown quickly and now run regular events across the Nuneaton and Warwickshire area and work closely with police and schools.

Terrence Barnett – Get Fishing

Terrence is Adult Substance Misuse Practitioner at SIAS, which is part of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Team (NHS) who support those with addictions. Terrence has run lots of fishing events for his patients and supported lots of local groups in their events, too.

Paul Ashfield – Get Fishing

Paul runs the Angling School which deliver regular Get Fishing Awards at Oakham Farm fishery in Warwickshire and also sessions for those who home school their children. These sessions have run for quite a few years and are very popular and successful.

Stroker Angling Club – Get Fishing

The club have taken on the lease for Walsall Arboretum Lake and for the past two years have been delivering the Get Fishing Awards. The events are run by a team of devoted volunteers and plans are in place to continue again this year.

Ben Coleman and Barry Swain – Get Fishing

Ben and Barry (pictured) have successfully run the Young Anglers at Ryton Country Park for many years now with sessions held throughout the year. Ben is a Ranger at the Country Park and Barry is the Bailiff for Leamington Angling Association and together they have introduced hundreds of families to fishing at the park over the years.

Elliott Laming – Get Fishing

Elliott is a volunteer in the Coventry area that has supported lots of events over the years and regularly helps to deliver the Get Fishing Awards in Stratford-upon-Avon at large-scale events. He is a Level 1 Coach who has recently taken his Level 2 and will continue to support his local club and other events.

Jez King – Get Fishing

Jez is the lead coach at Burton Mutual Angling Association and last year he relaunched the club’s junior section with weekly events at Kingstanding Pools in Burton. Jez and his team have helped to reignite the juniors and their families within the club and are becoming very successful at getting families fishing together.

Wyndham Merriman – Get Fishing

Wyn is a new Level 2 Coach who has supported delivery of the Get Fishing Awards at Upton Warren on Worcestershire for the last three years. Wyn has volunteered at events to introduce local families to fishing and has been very reliable and great with the participants.

Dan Martin – Get Fishing

Dan is the fishery ranger at Kingsbury Water Park near Tamworth and a Level 2 coach. He has run lots of events to get families into fishing and is always willing to support the Angling Trust.

Paul Calow – Fundraising

Paul (2nd from left) is Bailiff for Abingdon & Oxford Anglers Alliance and has received his award for his hard work and commitment to tench fishing and as the lead organiser of the Angling Trust’s Tench Masterclass 2024 fundraiser.

Abingdon & Oxford Anglers Alliance – Fundraising

Abingdon & Oxford Anglers Alliance have received the award for their support in the running of our Tench Masterclass fundraiser and long-standing support and membership of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal.

  • Our Fisheries Enforcement Support Service, Voluntary Bailliff Service and Building Bridges work is funded by fishing licence income delivered in partnership with the Environment Agency.
  • The Get Fishing campaign to get more people fishing more often is funded by the Environment Agency from fishing licence income as part of the National Angling Strategic Services contract with the Angling Trust, and Sport England. It is also supported by Shakespeare, Exclusive Tackle Partner, and Angling Direct, Exclusive Retail Partner.
  • Our Anglers Against Pollution campaign and Water Quality Monitoring Network are proudly supported by Orvis.



You might also like