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New National Angling Strategy aims to broaden angling’s appeal

Written by Substance Head of Research, Adam Brown


A new National Angling Strategy has been launched to encourage wider participation in the sport by focusing on new audiences and the health and well-being benefits that angling can bring!

The National Angling Strategy (2019-2024) was launched today by Environment Agency Chair Emma Howard Boyd, with members of the angling community, and Angling Trust at Get Hooked on Fishing’s Northala Fields venue in Northolt, West London.

The strategy will be implemented by a new partnership body – the National Angling Strategy Partnership Board, coordinated by the Angling Trust with representatives from the Environment Agency, Angling Trades Association, Get Hooked on Fishing and Canal and River Trust. The board will be responsible for delivering the strategy as well as securing the additional funding needed to deliver on the strategy’s aims and objectives.

The strategy was researched and written by Adam Brown, Head of Research at Substance after widespread consultation with the angling community and using feedback from the National Angling Survey 2018 which engaged 35,000 anglers. The responses included the need to make better information available on where and how to fish and the need to emphasise the health, well-being and environmental benefits of participation in recreational fishing.

Environment Agency Chair Emma Howard Boyd said:

“The National Angling Strategy aims to get more people out to experience angling – because we know that getting outdoors and experiencing nature is good for health and wellbeing and the environment.

“I’m really pleased that the Environment Agency is working with partners and anglers on this exciting vision for growing the sport and delivering the best possible angling experience in England.”

Environment Agency head of Fisheries Kevin Austin said:

“We have listened to the ideas of anglers and the wider community in developing the National Angling Strategy to take the sport forward and increase its appeal beyond its traditional base.”

Angling Trust Chair George Stephenson said:

“We know angling is a sport with a lot to offer and the National Angling Strategy is our plan to get the word out to people who may never have considered going fishing and encourage them to give it a go.”

Adam Brown, Head of Research at Substance said:

‘We have been delighted to be involved in developing a strategy for angling for the next five years. We have a very strong track record in demonstrating the benefits that angling can . Our research and consultation has shown that there is a real enthusiasm for angling to make a step change in its development – and hopefully this strategy can be the start of that.’

Aims and Objectives of the National Angling Strategy

  • Objective 1 – Develop awareness and knowledge of angling.

A marketing campaign, backed by research, with new information on how and where to fish.

  • Objective 2- Increase participation in angling

An increase in angling participation by 2024 and increases in females, young people and BAME communities taking part.

  • Objective 3 – Develop social benefits through angling

An increase in people getting physically active through angling, delivery of angling for health programmes; and an angling volunteer programme.

  • Objective 4 – Develop Sustainable Places to Fish

Involve anglers more in environmental improvement work and science, develop more local and accessible places for people to fish and develop more community waters.

  • Objective 5 – Increase Angling’s Economic Impact

Deliver a trade-backed market development plan, new funding for developing the angling sector and tackle shop and angling tourism support.

  • Objective 6 – Understand angling data and evidence

Develop an angling research programme to inform future actions, stakeholders and angling commerce interests, and to evaluate the strategy’s success.


The National Angling Strategy is available at:


To contact Substance for comment:

Dr Adam Brown, Head of Research


Tel: 07974 963 020