The new Fishery Improvement Fund, administered by the Angling Trust and funded with rod licence income from the Environment Agency, has made funding awards to 3 fisheries, 13 clubs and 1 angling project totalling £65,000 to improve facilities for angling throughout England.
The total value of the funded projects, including match funding and in-kind contributions, is nearly £200,000, all of which will contribute to the delivery of the National Angling Strategy. 15 of the projects are coarse angling oriented, including one benefiting canal anglers, with 2 club projects improving access to wild trout streams in North Yorkshire and in Devon. The funded projects are expected to generate in excess of 17,000 additional fishing visits/ trips per year and 7 projects plan to install accessible pegs for disabled users and families.
Launched in January, the fund received a huge response, with more than 200 applications. Due to the success of the scheme, plans are now being put in place for another round in the summer of 2015.
Individual highlights include:
- creating an entirely new angling venue in a residential area;
- money to purchase storage facilities for a canal-based club;
- fish refuges and other measures to control cormorant predation;
- otter-proof fencing and gates at a club stillwater;
- restoring a traditional tench fishery;
- opening a disused stretch of the Severn to angling;
- Improving access to brown trout river fishing for elderly, beginners and military veterans.
Mark Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Angling Trust & Fish Legal said: 'The Environment Agency and the Angling Trust hope to be able to repeat the Fund in spring 2015 if there is sufficient rod licence income available to pay for it. Thank you to all the organisations that applied - it clearly demonstrates the demand across the country for better facilities and the desire of clubs and fisheries to make these happen, through their commitment of match funding.'
Rick Warner, the Angling Trust’s National Angling Strategy Manager said: 'We plan to streamline the process to make it easier to submit an application and will be delivering workshops around the country to help clubs, fisheries and angling projects with their funding bids. We will contact previous applicants who met all the criteria and invite them to apply again at that time.'
Sarah Chare, Environment Agency Head of Fisheries, said: 'We were delighted with the number of applications the Angling Trust received. There are some really good projects planned, from new fish refuges and revitalising disused stretches of river to improving access and creating new angling venues. This is just one way in which the Environment Agency uses rod licence money for fisheries and it is great to see it go further by working in partnership.'
Buy A Rod Licence Today
You can buy your rod licence online from the Post Office at www.postoffice.co.uk/rod-fishing-licence, at your local Post Office or by phoning 0344 800 5386.
Buying a rod licence online from the Post Office website is easy, and saves both time and administration costs, meaning that more of the income can be spent on improving fish stocks and fishing.