A VAST £3.5million was driven into England’s fisheries last season, much to the delight of anglers and clubs across the country.
Over the past 12 months, the Environment Agency’s (EA) Fisheries Improvement Programme (FIP) funded over 100 projects across England, investing over £600,000. This figure was matched by local partners, including angling clubs, fisheries, and local rivers trusts, with an estimated £2.9 million added 2021/22.
The funding is a new annual record and given the current state of Britain’s sewage-filled rivers, there’s arguably never been a better time for hefty investment.
The FIP was launched by the EA in 2015, and while the Agency often comes under fire from the angling community, members of angling clubs that’ve benefitted can’t speak highly enough of it.
Wiltshire’s Lavington AC is one of the many clubs to profit from FIP funding this year. Club secretary, Mike Swanton, says the EA’s work has made its lakes more accessible and improved the fishing for their members.
“The EA has helped with tree work, improving access around the fishery, netting, and weed control,” he says. “I can’t fault it. It’s always quick to help when we need advice, and I’d urge any angling club to build a relationship with it.”
More funding is also on the horizon, with the Angling Trust securing £1,663,045 from Sport England to ensure that fishing attracts participants from all walks of life. In addition, the Trust has opened the second round of its Angling Improvement Fund (AIF), offering £75,000 to help clubs and fisheries combat non-native species like floating pennywort and killer shrimp.
“Invasive species present one of the greatest threats to fish and fishing,” says Dr Emily Smith, Environment Manager at the Trust. “By providing funding for clubs to install washdown stations and dip tanks, we will minimise the risk of invasive species being spread.”
Applications for the AIF fund close on July 4. To apply, visit the Angling Improvement Fund page on www.anglingtrust.net