The committee would like to thank all of it's members for following the rules, their patience and commitment in these unprecedented and trying times has been most appreciated.
The club is guided by The Angling Trust and government guidelines in making it's decisions regarding any altered or additional rules that have to be adopted during this pandemic, even so it is hard to always keep totally up to date with situations changing so often, but we always aim to do our best.
It is our intention to keep our fisheries open for as long as we are able, to give members the chance, wherever possible, to escape the boredom and frustration of lockdown or whatever else may be thrown at us.
Here’s hoping that this situation doesn’t go on forever and we can get back to some normality very soon.
Thanks again for following the rules, keeping yourselves and others safe through these difficult times.
After what has been described as “intense discussions with government officials” the Angling Trust is delighted to announce that we have confirmation that all forms of angling including night fishing, charter boat angling and match fishing will be able to resume from March 29th under new Covid guidance for the return of outdoor sports and recreation.
Angling Trust CEO Jamie Cook welcomed the news saying:
“Following our Fishing out of Lockdown submission to the Cabinet Office in February we have been pressing for the lifting of the restrictions placed upon angling through lockdown, in particular night fishing and match fishing, when the time is right.
“We made it clear to the Government that recreational fishing has provided a valuable lifeline for many thousands of people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds throughout this pandemic. It has been conducted safely and responsibly with strong Covid secure guidelines in place covering every aspect of our sport
“I’m pleased that the multiple benefits that angling delivers have again been acknowledged and that we can all look forward to a return to the angling opportunities we were able to enjoy last summer and autumn.”
In common with other outdoor sports, including golf, the Angling Trust is publishing initial guidelines to help clubs and fisheries prepare for a full return for angling at the end of the month. These guidelines will be revised once the regulations are published but they include written confirmation from both the Cabinet Office and Defra. Further information will be published in due course on the Sport England website.
Angling Trust Head of Policy, Martin Salter added:
“The return of outdoor sports was fully expected from the 29th March but we had to make sure that the civil servants recognised that match fishing to the Angling Trust guidelines doesn’t constitute ‘a gathering’ and could resume safely.
“Night fishing was always going to be tricky ahead of the promised return of camping on April 12th but I’m pleased that the distinction with ‘fishing into or through the night’ has been recognised and that these anglers can now enjoy the Easter break. Likewise for sea anglers wanting to book a charter boat trip.”
Angling Trust statement on fishing in England from March 29th:
Following the Angling Trust’s February 11th submission to the Cabinet Office making the case for a relaxation of travel restrictions and a return to all forms of angling – including night fishing, charter boat angling and match fishing – we have been having intense discussions with government officials who are drawing up the new guidance for the return of outdoor sports and recreation for the next relaxation in the Covid restrictions due on March 29th.
The Angling Trust is pleased to announce the Cabinet Office and Defra have now confirmed to us the following from March 29th:
Although the regulations are yet to be published we fully expect them to be in line with the above. A series of FAQs will be published as usual by Sport England in addition to any departmental guidance.
The Angling Trust will update its formal guidelines once we have seen the regulations and had the benefit of legal advice. In the meantime, and with this caveat, we advise angling clubs and fisheries to plan on this basis.
The Government have now formally responded to the representations made by the Angling Trust. We have promoted the huge benefits of fishing on individual health and wellbeing and have been able to present a case to which the Government have listened. On this basis I am pleased to announce that fishing will be permitted during the third national lockdown in England.
The Head of Sports Participation at DCMS confirmed the following:
“fishing is allowed as exercise so long as participants adhere to the rules on staying local, gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors”
This has also been confirmed by DEFRA:
“Cabinet Office have now officially confirmed that angling / fishing (incl. sea fishing off private boats, water sports) can be considered exercise and are hence permitted.”
We have worked extremely hard to reach this position and we as anglers have a duty to abide by the strict conditions under which fishing is once again permitted. With infection rates and death tolls rising we must stick to the Government’s rules and ensure that angling remains part of the solution and does not cause problems.
Please bear in mind these key points which will be reflected in the new Angling Trust guidelines which we will publish shortly:
We are once again able to enjoy the sport we love at a time when many others cannot and we must ensure that every angler adheres to the rules.
I would ask all anglers who are not members to join the Angling Trust and give us your support. We have worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome and that is only possible thanks to the support of our new and existing members. I would ask all anglers who value their ability to go fishing to make the same commitment as your fellow anglers have and join the Angling Trust. We are stronger together!
Stay safe and very best fishes
Chief Executive, Angling Trust
These guidelines have been produced by the Angling Trust in our capacity as the recognised national governing body for all forms of recreational fishing in England. They have been drawn up following extensive dialogue with relevant Government departments and our colleagues in the Environment Agency to help anglers, fishery owners and managers to better understand what is permissible under the current lockdown regulations that are in place.
The government has confirmed that local fishing will be permitted during the third national lockdown in England under the exercise provisions. It must take place locally, in a socially distanced manner and only once a day.
“Fishing is allowed as exercise so long as participants adhere to the rules on staying local, gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors.” [DCMS – 6th January 2021]
We have worked extremely hard to reach this position and as anglers we all have a duty to abide by the strict and limited conditions under which fishing is once again permitted. With infection rates and death tolls rising we must stick to the Government’s rules and ensure that angling remains part of the solution and does not cause problems.
This is a strictly limited resumption of local fishing and very different to how we have been allowed to operate since May 2020. We are in the middle of a public health emergency and the National Lockdown must be respected. The law requires a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home or penalties will apply.
We have set out a series of answers to the most frequently asked questions to ensure that every angler is able to adhere to the rules.
Please Stay Safe and Stay Local
Can we still go fishing?
Yes, but once a day, locally and only with one other person from outside your household or support bubble. Sport England confirmation here
Can we go sea fishing?
Yes, but once a day, locally and only with one other person from outside your household or support bubble.
Can we go fishing from our boats?
Yes, DEFRA have confirmed that fishing in the sea or in freshwater from private boats (along with other water sports) can be considered exercise and is permitted.
Why can’t we night fish?
Because exercise is limited to once a day so no overnight fishing whatsoever. This does not stop you fishing for an hour or so after dusk but fishing through the night is no longer permissible.
Can we fish matches?
No. Organised sporting gatherings are prohibited so there is no match fishing.
How far can we travel to go fishing?
Only local travel is permitted for the purpose of daily exercise as set out in the Government’s travel guidance here
This specifies the ‘local area’ – ie. town, village or part of the city in which you live. However, there is a recognition that there will be a need to travel for outdoor exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space).
Anglers will need to apply common sense and judgement in defining their local area rather than fixating on parish boundaries. A lake or river in a neighbouring parish may well be closer than one on the other side of the same town. In short, you should be fishing your nearest available waters.
If you have no local fishing available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways.
Can my fishery stay open?
Fisheries are not on the list of businesses required to close under the regulations. Camping, chalet accommodation, club houses or social facilities of any kind cannot open though onsite toilets with appropriate hand sanitising can remain in place.
The regulation requires the closure of “outdoor sports grounds or facilities”; if you are concerned that this might apply to your fishery you should seek specific advice.
You are allowed to leave home to exercise (which includes fishing) outdoors, but you can only meet with another person in ‘public outdoor places’ which include parks, beaches, countryside accessible to the public, forests, public gardens (whether or not you pay to enter them). This will apply to most fisheries either commercially managed or operated by clubs that are open to members of the public.
Can tackle shops still trade?
Tackle shops are classed as non-essential businesses and must close but they can still offer a ‘click/call and collect’ service.
Can we still carry out work parties on our waters?
Yes, there are a range of activities for which travel is both required and lawful including “for work, or providing voluntary or charitable services, where it is unreasonable to do so from home”.
However, numbers should be kept manageable and Covid compliant procedures must be followed.
Is bait collection still allowed?
Yes. Anglers can undertake bait collection as their single act of daily exercise provided it is in their ‘local area’. Bait collectors would be running a risk travelling to any spot that is not the closest one to their home that they are legally allowed to dig or collect bait from. Anglers can also undertake bait collection and sea fishing combined as part of their ‘local’ exercise. If an angler or bait digger has a private arrangement with a private landowner to dig for bait we recommend contacting the landowner before digging.
Can I still Coach, Guide or Ghillie?
Yes, but once a day, locally and only with one other person. Sessions must take place in a public outdoor space and social distancing maintained. Any coaches or guides undertaking sessions should ensure they’re complying with relevant national governing body safeguarding policies and procedures and conduct a thorough risk assessment before engaging in any sessions. This should include particular consideration for under-18s and vulnerable adults.
UPDATE – January 5, 2021
Whilst the regulations have not yet been published we have been informed this evening by the Cabinet Office that the Government have taken the decision that fishing in England will not be permitted during this national lockdown period. Whilst this is disappointing news I would ask anglers, fisheries and clubs to respect these rules and the reason they have been put in place; to help save lives and support the NHS.
Individuals should not go fishing from midnight tonight (5th January) and clubs and fisheries should close their waters to anglers. We will be publishing more detailed guidance on specific areas like bailiffing and fishery maintenance once the Government regulations have been published.
Over the past few weeks we have been in communication with the Government at the highest possible level. We have presented a strong case on how fishing could continue safely during the third national lockdown. We have explained that fishing benefits physical health and mental wellbeing and that it is regularly the only form of activity individuals undertake. You can read our representations to Cabinet Ministers here.
My team and I have consistently presented the arguments ahead of the changing government guidelines, which have allowed fishing to remain permitted continuously since the first national lockdown was lifted in May. We have been successful when other sports have not as all anglers will know.
However, with 60,000 new infections announced today, the Government have taken the decision that leaving home for recreation or leisure, including all forms of recreational fishing, should be prohibited in England during this third national lockdown period.
I thank you for your support and for being a credit to our sport. As members, you can rest assured that the Angling Trust will continue to represent our sport at the highest level and will present proposals for the resumption of angling when it is safe and sensible to do so. We will come through this period of national crisis. We will fish again, but until then, please, stay safe.
CEO, Angling Trust
The Angling Trust state that they have now had the opportunity to look at the new Covid Guidelines for Tier 4 but the regulations are not yet published and will need to run them past their lawyers. However, they are happy to issue this initial interpretation for the benefit of anglers, angling clubs and fisheries who now find themselves in a Tier 4 area.
In line with the 2nd national lockdown the Government have banned virtually all grass roots sporting competitions in Tier 4 areas. So unfortunately, the new laws mean that any form of competition, including more than two people from different households, is prohibited. However, fishing with one other person from outside your household is allowed.
The Angling Trust has considered the Government’s comprehensive, 64-page Winter Covid Plan for England which has seen a revised three-tier system introduced on December 2nd. We have updated our guidelines to take account of the most recent government guidance from DCMS. These set out how anglers, angling clubs and fisheries can operate safely and responsibly during the period these regulations are in place. The Winter Plan introduces a three-tier system of restrictions to combat the threat posed by the Coronavirus. Tier 1 is Medium Alert, Tier 2 is High Alert and Tier 3 is Very High Alert. The tiers are to be reviewed every two weeks and the regulations expire on February 3rd, 2021.
The Angling Trust has now had an opportunity to consider the government’s comprehensive, 64-page Winter Covid Plan for England which will introduce a revised three-tier system from Wednesday, December 2nd.
We are pleased that ministers appreciate both the importance and safety of outdoor recreation and organised sport and that the plan opens more opportunities for more people to enjoy leisure and recreation. Although anglers have been in the fortunate position to be able to fish continuously since May 13th, there have been a number of restrictions in place during the latest lockdown which will now be lifted. Tackle shops can open up fully, competition fishing can resume as can coaching and charter boat fishing with up to six participants in total. This is all positive news for our sport.
Once again, we expect the travel guidance will be advisory rather than law but the Angling Trust will be urging anglers to exercise common sense and act within the spirit of the government’s guidance.
In all tiers, travelling to go fishing is fine but long journeys should be avoided ‘wherever possible’.
You absolutely must not leave home to fish if you have Coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.
With the rules on gatherings due to be revised to once more allow sporting events and outdoor activities, match fishing can resume as long as appropriate risk assessments are in place. Participants and organisers still need to follow the published Angling Trust guidelines to ensure compliance with social distancing and to minimise the risk of infection.
To comply with the travel guidance in the Winter Plan, match organisers will need to revise any planned competitions which could result in participants seeking to enter or leave T3 areas.
“Angling has conducted itself safely throughout this pandemic and must continue to do so. These new restrictions are good news for angling as a whole and we urge all anglers to continue to fish responsibly and not to put themselves or our sport at risk. The Angling Trust will continue to monitor guidelines published by the government and keep members informed as to what they will mean for angling.”
Now that we are back fishing again, we are regularly updating our guidelines to anglers, clubs, fisheries, coaches and other angling organisations to ensure fishing complies with the latest Government guidance during the Covid-19 epidemic. Please choose an option below to read guidelines that are relevant to you.
UPDATE – November 4:
Having now examined the government’s new Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) (No. 4) Regulations the Angling Trust is pleased to be able to offer some initial guidance and interpretation to anglers and fishery providers. Our formal guidelines will be published following further consultation with colleagues at Sport England and DCMS once Parliament has debated the regulations today and passed them into law.
Overall the Angling Trust is pleased that ministers have recognised the value of allowing angling and some other forms of outdoor recreation to continue through the forthcoming lockdown period in England. However, the new rules are more complicated than we had hoped and anglers should be fully aware of what we can and can’t do in the next 28 days.
How to fish
The regulations are clear and you can only leave home to fish with members of your own household, your support bubble or with one other individual. The Rule of Six is now effectively the Rule of Two for most of us. The tightening of the rules on ‘gatherings’ means that match fishing or any other organised fishing event is prohibited by law during lockdown. However, competitive fishing will be able to resume once there is a return to the three tier system of restrictions.
On this basis we can announce that all Angling Trust competitions are suspended for the period covering 5th November – 2nd December 2020.
Where to fish
Angling is deemed a permissible form of ‘outdoor recreation’, and a lawful reason to leave home. It can take place, without time limits, within the provision allowing people “to visit a public outdoor space for the purposes of open air recreation”.
A ‘public outdoor space’ is defined as an ‘outdoor place to which the public have, or are permitted, access (whether on payment or otherwise).’ We believe this clearly includes riverbanks, towpaths, beaches and stillwaters that can either be accessed freely or on the payment of a day ticket or subscription levied by the owner or leased to a publicly available fishing association. The government clearly intends for people to be able to take their outdoor exercise and recreation in the form of angling and these regulations allow this to occur.
Fisheries are not on the published list of businesses that the government has ordered to close and there is no reason that they should do so providing that they operate in accordance with the rules
It does not permit club outings or organised amateur sporting activities of any sort. All indoor or social facilities in any way connected with a fishing venue must close or refer to the relevant Government guidance. Fishing tackle shops, whether onsite or not, can only operate a ‘click and collect’ service.
Travelling to fish
Whilst the government have chosen not to write their travel guidance into law we are urging anglers to respect the advice which states that it is permissible to travel in order:
“to spend time or exercise outdoors – this should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)”
Put simply, you can travel to go fishing but long journeys should be avoided ‘wherever possible’. Sea anglers should focus on their local beaches and fishing marks and freshwater anglers should not be travelling hundreds of miles in search of fishing during lockdown. It is up to the individual to apply common sense and act within the spirit of the government’s guidance. You absolutely cannot leave home to fish if you have Coronavirus symptoms or are self-isolating.
How long to fish
There are no limits on the time that can be spent on outdoor recreation which means that anglers are able to continue fishing into and through the hours of darkness providing the other rules are observed.
Essential fishery management work, which clearly cannot be undertaken from home, can continue as can any necessary, socially distanced working parties fall within the provisions for ‘voluntary work’. Appropriate risk assessments must be in place and numbers should be sensibly managed.
This is going to be an extremely difficult period for everybody and as anglers we must recognise that we are fortunate that our chosen form of recreation can continue even though there are restrictions on what we can do. The Angling Trust made the case for fishing based on the health and wellbeing benefits that angling offers coupled with the importance of reducing pressure on other open spaces by allowing us to continue to safely enjoy the social isolation and peace that fishing brings. It is incumbent on us all to continue to act responsibly and to fish safely, fish locally and respect the Rule of Two.