The Angling Trust was formed from a merger of the six angling organisations in 2009 in order to create a single unified representative body for all anglers in England and was recognised at that time by government as the national governing body for all angling.

The founding bodies were the governing bodies for the three disciplines of angling: National Federation of Anglers, the National Federation of Sea Anglers and the Salmon & Trout Association (which became a separate charity and handed its governing body for game angling status to the Angling Trust).  These organisations had all been in existence for about 100 years.  The National Association of Angling and Fisheries Consultatives and the Specialist Anglers Alliance were also signatories to the merger agreement.  Our aim was to provide a single point of contact for government and an organisation which was greater than the sum of its parts.

Then in 2012, the Angling Trust merged with the Angling Development Board to give it responsibility for promoting angling participation for the government. It then merged with the Confederation of English Fly Fishers and the England Ladies Fly Fishers.  In 2016, the Angling Trust extended its representative role to cover Wales on selected issues, but the responsibility for angling participation in Wales remains with the three separate Welsh governing bodies for angling.  The Angling Trust is united in a collaborative relationship with Fish Legal, a separate membership association that uses the law to protect fish stocks and the rights of its members throughout the UK (previously known as the Anglers’ Conservation Association, founded in 1948). Joint membership packages with Fish Legal are available for individuals, clubs, fisheries and other categories.

The Angling Trust is answerable to its membership of individuals, clubs, fisheries and other organisations who all have a vote at the AGM and can appoint a number of Directors to the board.

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