The Angling Trust’s successful and popular Take 5 litter campaign is being relaunched to cover both freshwater and marine environments.
Now in partnership with the Environment Agency, the campaign is targeting coarse, game and sea anglers with the same message – take 5 items of litter or five minutes to remove any litter after fishing.
Litter from all sources adversely affects wildlife as well as introducing toxic pollutants to the environment which can damage habitats and species. In addition, litter is also an eyesore which detracts from the pleasure people take from being outside – adversely impacting on tourism in rural and coastal communities.
Plastic litter is a growing problem in our waterways and in the marine environment where it breaks down into microplastics which are eaten by fish and enter the human food chain.
David Mitchell, the Angling Trust’s Head of Marine, said: 'The key to the Take 5 message is in its simplicity – anyone and everyone can do it each time they go fishing. If every angler in the country did this just think of how many millions of items of litter would be removed every year.'
Kevin Austin, the Environment Agency’s Deputy Director Agriculture, Fisheries and the Natural Environment, said: 'Fishing is England’s largest participatory sport and the actions of anglers can make a huge difference when it comes to tackling littering. Most anglers dispose of litter responsibly but we welcome this campaign for highlighting the important contribution they can make to improving the water environment for everyone.'
The relaunch of Take 5 coincides with the Great River Rescue, England’s first national clean-up focused on rivers. The campaign has been organised by environmental charity Thames21, the Marine Conservation Society, the Angling Trust and the Canal and River Trust, and clean-up events have been taking place throughout October.
The Take 5 campaign was started in 2008 by the Angling Trust’s Wyvern Marine region and launched nationally by the Angling Trust in 2012.
Most responsible anglers already take their own litter home, this is about going further and encouraging them, as custodians of our aquatic environments, to help remove non-angling related litter as well in order to help maintain the beauty and health of the countryside and coast for all.