More people showing an interest in taking up fishing
New research reveals people have formed long-term plans to reconnect with nature through a surge in popularity for new hobbies such as fishing, gardening and birdwatching.
As a result, the Environment Agency has launched a campaign calling on all potential and seasoned anglers to see their licences as more than just a legal entitlement to fish.
The campaign highlights that fishing is a licence to connect with nature, see friends, provide alternative entertainment to electronic devices and more.
A total of 40% of women questioned believe it gives them the opportunity to reconnect with nature, 31% want to learn how to catch a fish as a new skill and 38% saying they would fish for relaxation, meditation or mindfulness.
Last year, the Environment Agency sold 1,019,723 individual freshwater rod licences to adults living in England, compared to 882,989 in the previous year 2019/20, an increase of 16%.
Heidi Stone, Fisheries Partnerships Manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Fishing has benefited the mental health of hundreds of thousands of people in the past year and is a great option for people who are looking for a long-term connection with nature.
“We want people to see a fishing licence as more than just your right to fish. It is a licence to have fun, de-stress and spend time with family and friends.
"With every additional licence, we can also reinvest even more into protecting our fisheries to ensure the public can continue to reap the benefits of being immersed in nature long into the future.”