ANGLING and wildlife trusts have been at loggerheads in some areas of the country recently, but a new campaign might be about to change that.
In our June 28 issue we reported how fishing had been suspended at numerous wildlife trust sites, including Nottingham’s Attenborough Nature Reserve. Nottingham AA controlled the lease there, and its secretary, Dave Turner, stated that ‘some Trust members view anglers as the enemy of wildlife’. But, judging by a successful project in the Colne Valley, things don’t have to be that way.
Tony Booker, Chairman of the Colne Valley Fisheries Consultative, has helped run a series of accredited angling and nature conservation management courses, where participants received expert tuition on fishery management, as well as ecology, and worked with local wildlife trusts. It quickly became apparent that the vast majority of work that enhances angling also benefits the environment, particularly with endangered species such as water voles.
“While there are differences in opinion, anglers and wildlife trusts have lots in common,” Tony explained. “We both want the best for the environment and we can both get along – anglers just need to show the positive side of what we do.”
Lydia Ennis from the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust was part of the same project, and soon realised just how passionate anglers are about their surroundings.
“So many anglers said to me they enjoy being outside and being part of nature as much as the fishing experience itself, and I thought, bang! We have something in common,” she said.
“It’s been a joy to work with the anglers in the Colne Valley – their proactive approach to fishery management and conservation is testament to just how much they care.”
Tony got in touch with the Angling Trust to see how he could expand his project, and they came up with the Love Fishing Love Nature (LFLN) drive, under which they’re calling for all anglers to get in touch and share their stories of positive environmental impact.
Liberty Denman, Environmental Projects Officer at the Trust, said: “So much of the conservation work anglers do goes unheralded. Through LFLN, we aim to highlight the many conservation successes achieved by clubs, fisheries and anglers.”
To share your Love Fishing Love Nature story, contact firstname.lastname@example.org