Families across England can try free post-lockdown fishing

The nationwide Let’s Fish! initiative, which encourages people to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of fishing on their local waterways, is returning for 2021 with a programme of around 350 free taster events on canals across England.

The events, which include free one-to-one tuition from licensed angling coaches, get underway on 12th April and continue through to October.

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Run by the Canal & River Trust, and supported by local angling clubs, the learn-to-fish taster events are suitable for adults, and children aged six and above, whether they are completely new to fishing or are getting back into it after a break.

The Let’s Fish! programme has gone from strength to strength since being introduced back in 2017 with over 15,000 people having taken part since its inception.

Continued support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery has helped enable the programme to continue into 2021, with everything needed to enjoy a fishing session free on the day, such as tackle, bait, a rod licence and fishing permit, as well as expert tuition from a coach.

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John Ellis, national fisheries and angling manager at the Canal & River Trust, comments: “Fishing is fun, it’s good for your mind and body, and it’s something the whole family can enjoy.  With the programme restricted in 2020 due to the pandemic, it is back, bigger and better in 2021.

“We’ve seen throughout the past 12-months the importance of getting outside into the fresh air.  And with canals local and on-the-doorstep for millions of people, spending time by the water fishing is a feel-good accessible activity that people can do in the heart of our towns and cities.

“This year the Let’s Fish! programme will be hosting many events within walking distance of the local community in places where everyone, regardless of background or ability, can take part.  The free events will get people up and running in no time. All the equipment is provided.”

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The events will be reduced in numbers to begin with to adhere to coronavirus guidelines. They are made possible thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, Angling Trust, Environment Agency and Nenescape.

John Ellis continues: “This year we have a greater focus on ongoing participation so that those trialling fishing for the first time can go on and join a club and take part in local or even national competitions.

“We are also looking to develop a schools programme – building links with schools near to the canal network to encourage children to get outside and into nature.”

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For details of this year’s current event programme, visit www.canalrivertrust.org.uk/lets-fish. To manage numbers on-site, participants are required to book their place in advance.

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