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UK’s ‘biggest participation event’ gets underway


An event-based fishing programme – believed to be the UK’s biggest ever participation initiative – gets underway this month.

The Canal and River Trust’s Let’s Fish! scheme features more than 500 events offering 15,000 free one-to-one coaching opportunities for new or returning anglers. With the support of local clubs and funding from the People’s Postcode Lottery, the CRT is hosting the events in many urban areas where canals offer a green space. Participants will receive tuition from qualified, licensed coaches and events will continue through to November. Everything needed to fish is provided, including tackle, bait, a rod licence and fishing permit.

This summer marks ten years since canals in England and Wales were put in trust to the nation and became a charitable cause. The Let’s Fish! programme was introduced in 2016 and more than 25,000 anglers have so far taken part.

“Fishing is fun, it’s good for your mind and body, and it’s something the whole family can enjoy. In our tenth anniversary year as a charity, it’s fantastic that we’re going to be able to offer Let’s Fish! to more people than ever,” said John Ellis, National Fisheries and Angling Manager at the CRT.
“Fishing is an accessible activity that people can do in the heart of our towns and cities, with canals being on-the-doorstep for millions of people. The Let’s Fish! programme hosts many events within walking distance of the local community and everyone, regardless of background or ability, can take part.”
With the Commonwealth Games coming to Birmingham, Ellis made special mention of the Let’s Fish! events in the Midlands. People will have the chance to take part in more than 20 Commonwealth Communities Celebration fishing events as part of the United by Birmingham 2022 community programme.
“This year people will have the opportunity to develop their fishing skills by returning to Let’s Fish! time and again,” added Ellis. “We have also launched a new certificate programme and schools’ package – building links with schools near to the canal network to encourage children to get outside and into nature.”
For details of this year’s current event programme, click here.  To manage numbers on site, participants are required to book their place in advance.

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