The Environment Agency’s Fisheries Improvement Programme (FIP) has invested £1.3m in projects across England to benefit anglers, deliver improvements to vital habitats, increase fish stocks and improve accessibility to ensure the sport is as inclusive as possible.
Every penny the Environment Agency receives in fishing licence income is reinvested to protect both the sport of angling and England’s waterways. In the last 12 months alone, alongside partners, the FIP has delivered more than 170 completed projects across England.
The FIP funding is matched by local partners including angling clubs and fisheries. The EA has also worked closely with local rivers trusts and the Wild Trout Trust.
The total match funding, made up of additional cash and in-kind contributions, is estimated to be more than £3.2m which continues to have a positive impact on local communities, angling and ecology.
In Devon and Cornwall, £64,000 was used to support nine projects ranging from habitat improvement for wild native trout, enabling access to fishing for people with disabilities and working with small coarse fisheries to improve the facilities for their members.
In Essex, a new fishery has been developed for military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Here, the Environment Agency is working in partnership with iCarp to establish and revamp Lifted Lakes near Harwich. The venue is intended to be used as a base for treatment and future mental health research. A £10,000 FIP grant was used to enhance the environment for fish and refurbish angling platforms and facilities.
Heidi Stone, Environment Agency Fisheries Manager said: “All of the projects we fund must demonstrate benefits for anglers. The Fisheries Improvement Programme allows us to identify and invest in work supporting a local, sustainable future for angling. The programme is also a great demonstration of our partnership efforts, with many of the projects completed with the support of landowners, local businesses and fisheries clubs – it’s a real team effort! The more people who go fishing, the more we can invest.”
In the last 12 months alone, alongside partners, the FIP has delivered more than 170 completed projects across England. The programme covers rivers and stillwaters and will benefit coarse fish, trout and eels.