You may or may not know much about fishing and why it's one of the most popular sports and hobbies in the UK. You may have wondered what all the fuss is about and why, every July and August, there is so much talk about fishing.
Recreational fishing, or angling, is very accessible, and it welcomes new recruits with open arms. Here are a few facts that could help you make the decision for you, your family or your friends to have go:
- National Fishing Month (NFM), now in its Silver Jubilee year, has helped introduce nearly 300,000 people into the incredible sport of angling over the last 25 years.
- The initiative has been enhanced with financial contributions from the Environment Agency (EA) for the last 9 years. In support of the participation programmes to get more people fishing, the EA invests a percentage of the money raised from rod licences back into these programmes, of which NFM is one.
- The Angling Trust (which is the governing body for anglers in England) supports NFM through its team of Regional Officers and its fishery, club and coaching membership who are all encouraged to take part and support their local events.
- The Canal and Rivers Trust supports NFM by organising over 60 events on its waterways. It promotes these events through its extensive database of walkers, cyclists, canoeists and wildlife fans to encourage them to try fishing. As a registered charity, the Trust features within the top 30 list of charities in the UK for income, spending and investments.
- It doesn’t matter what age you start fishing. Children can take part on equal terms with their grandparents. You can fish alone, with friends and family or in an organised group for an hour or two or for a whole day – you have the freedom to choose.
- The PR campaign for NFM encompasses national and regional press and online activity, and last year this engaged with nearly 20 million people to get the message out there – angling is fun and all the family can take part
- Recent research clearly shows that fishing can be good for you, providing outdoor exercise activity and mental wellness. More information on the health benefits of angling can be found at www.substance.net/publications/.
- All children aged between 12 and 16 can now enjoy a free rod licence to fish in still waters, rivers and streams. Parents can register their children for a FREE licence at www.gov.uk/fishing-licences/buy-a-fishing-licence
- The Professional Anglers Association and Angling Cymru are organisations which support angling coaches across the UK. They promote NFM by organising and participating in large numbers of local events across England and Wales.
- The Angling Trades Association created NFM all those years ago and also contributes financially to the running of the participation initiative. Members of the trade have donated hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of tackle to organisers and coaches to help run the events and supplied huge numbers of ‘goodies’ and prizes to be given away to the people taking part. This year’s headline sponsors include manufacturers Daiwa, Pure Fishing and Leeda, with retailers Fishing Republic, Fosters of Birmingham and Angling Direct providing donations and logistical support.
Why not enjoy yourself this summer, get outdoors and get healthy? Take part in a National Fishing Month registered event and follow thousands of young people, parents, grandparents and friends who enjoy quality family time together at the waterside over the holiday period. Book your place at an event by visiting www.nationalfishingmonth.com