The one that got away? Angling casts new line

One of the country’s largest, but least heard, sporting lobbies staged a re-launch today, with the new Angling Trust representing around 4 million enthusiasts from coarse, fly and sea angling.

The Trust arises out of a merger of five other bodies from the varied sections of the sport.

The new body consists of two entities: The Angling Trust, which will be the governing body for coarse, game and sea angling in England, and an unincorporated association called Fish Legal which will deliver – throughout the UK – the legal protection and advice previously provided by the Anglers’ Conservation Association. This structure is necessary to comply with Law Society rules governing employment of solicitors and the requirements of Sport England, who last month granted £1.5 million in grants to angling.

Mark Lloyd, formerly of the ACA, has been selected as chief executive elect of the unified body.

The Angling Trust will protect, develop and promote angling; manage national and international competitions; campaign on behalf of its members and fight to conserve and restore freshwater and marine fisheries.

The organisation aims to recruit 100,000 anglers to individual membership by 2011 and expects the vast majority of angling clubs in the country to join. It will offer benefits to its members and a Fish for Free loyalty programme which will earn its members cashback on purchases of angling permits, tackle and even the freshwater rod licence.

Jim Glasspool, an Angling Trust spokesman, said: “This is the first step towards proper recognition of angling’s contribution to the environment, the economy, and to the lives of its 4 million participants.”

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