Angling Trust aim to find out the nation's favourite rivers for fishing

The River Trent, the River Severn, the River Thames - which is your favourite river for fishing?

The Angling Trust wants to hear from you to find the nation’s best - and worst - running water venues as part of a new conservation survey.

It’s part of the Our Rivers campaign, a major response to Government research last year, which found that 74 per cent of rivers in England and Wales are falling short of European environmental targets, with only five per cent described as being in ‘pristine’ condition.

For the best river, nationwide publicity and an award for the specific area/town beckons, but the Trust points out that the worst river is not about naming and shaming - the Our Rivers team will conduct a workshop with the local council and action groups to develop a plan to improve the river and bring back fish and wildlife.

As well as the Trust, the RSPB, WWF and the Salmon and Trout Association are involved, in what the AT chief executive Mark Lloyd describes as a ‘joint review’ against the Government for failures in its plans for rivers.

The European Union’s Water Framework Directive requires the UK to bring all its rivers up to ‘good’ status or above by 2015, but the Trust claims that the current draft plans mean the UK will fail to reach this target.

Of the 74 per cent which are failing to meet EU standards, 117 rivers (two per cent) are classed as ‘bad.’ “The survey will raise awareness of problem rivers and there is a box on the voting form to highlight any concerns.

“We’ll be taking these to the fisheries minister Richard Benyon later this month and will be attending all of the party conferences,” said Mark.


    John Wilson
It has to be the Wensum, beside my home in Norfolk. I moved here for the roach fishing 40 years ago and I’ve caught fish to nearly 3lb, plus barbel to 16lb 13oz and chub to 6lb 9oz from its waters. Sadly, it’s been plundered by cormorants for 25 years and decimated by otters for the last 10.



Keith Arthur
Old Father Thames. I’ve been very close to this river for so long and won lots of matches on its banks, but now it’s better than it has ever been. We blame all sorts when the fishing is poor, but it’s more cyclical than we realise.



Bob Roberts
I’m going to go for the River Idle, which begins in Sherwood Forest, flows through the town of Bawtry and empties into the Trent. It’s a very intimate river, just five yards wide in places, and it’s real Mr Crabtree fishing - you don’t point two rods in the air here!



Des Taylor
The River Severn, anywhere from Bridgnorth to Bewdley. The Severn valley is one of the most beautiful places in the UK. You can watch deer come down to the river and the birdlife is fantastic, including buzzards and kingfishers. I moved to Bewdley because the roach and barbel fishing are first class.



Denis White
There’s only ever been one if you’re a match angler - the Trent. I remember my first ever open match win on the river - I was 16 years old, there were 350 anglers fishing and I won £220. The headlines were in big bold letters, ‘New star on the Trent!’ Now it’s been cleaned up, the fish are bigger and it just takes a bit of homework to catch ‘em!