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New Taxpayer Funding Available for Fisheries Projects Across England

A total of £730,000 is available through the Environment Agency's Fisheries Improvement Programme (FIP) to help create sustainable and resilient fisheries

New Taxpayer Funding Available for Fisheries Projects Across England
New Taxpayer Funding Available for Fisheries Projects Across England

The Environment Agency has today announced that £730,000 has been made available to support local projects to protect and enhance fishing in local communities through the Fisheries Improvement Programme (FIP). 

2024 will be the 10th year of the Fisheries Improvement Programme, investing in English rivers by funding projects to protect and improve fish stocks and habitats, provide new facilities for anglers, and give more people the opportunity to try fishing. 

The EA’s recent move to reduce printing costs by removing illustrations from rod licences has meant an additional £230,000 has been added to the initial 2024 Fisheries Improvement Programme, bringing the overall taxpayer-funded budget to £730,000. 

Heidi Stone, Environment Agency Fisheries Partnership Manager, said: 

The Fisheries Improvement Programme is a great example of how the Environment Agency is supporting the sport of angling whilst also enhancing the environment. We have already seen the success of previous FIP projects including those addressing the risks to fish stocks and better protecting habitats from the increasing impacts of climate change. I would like to encourage those who can to apply so that we can continue to invest in making long-lasting improvements to fisheries across England.

The EA works closely with a wide range of partners including the Wild Trout Trust, the Canal and River Trust, commercial fisheries, and angling clubs. In 2022/23 nearly 200 projects were completed improving a total of 72km of rivers and 237 hectares of stillwaters.

Highlights of last year’s programme were: 

  • Refurbishment of 20 fishing platforms to improve access along an EA-owned section of free fishing on the River Severn.

  • Organised a habitat workshop on the River Aln and across Northumbria to benefit local brown trout populations.

  • Provided safe angling platforms for several lakes across the North West.

  • Created a new angling coach lake for juniors, disabled anglers, and newcomers to the sport at Silsoe Angling Club in Bedfordshire.

Shaun Leonard, Director of the Wild Trout Trust which received funding last year, said:

Using Fisheries Improvement Programme money we had a great day in the December snow in Northumberland, attended by Aln Angling Association, Northumberland Rivers Trust, local councils, and EA staff.  The habitat workshop underlined the huge habitat value of large woody material to the river, how to mimic natural fallen wood with introduced tree limbs and the problems from unfettered livestock access to the stream.

This year, the EA are seeking more ideas that improve local fisheries. Any organisation involved in managing fisheries in England can apply, in particular, angling clubs, commercial fisheries, and environmental non-governmental organisations.  

This round of the FIP scheme is open until 14 February. To find out more about the eligibility criteria and how to apply, visit Fisheries Improvement Programme - Angling Trust or talk to your local fisheries officer.


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