“Getting London Fishing” – action group formed

Angling Action Group formed in the capital

A London Angling Action Group has been formed to encourage Londoners to get fishing again and to take advantage of cleaner and better stocked waterways.

The well-attended action group launch saw 44 movers-and-shakers of angling in London come together, including representatives from the Angling Trust, Environment Agency, Thames21, the London Wildlife Trusts, borough councils, schools and angling clubs, along with fishery managers, angling coaches and other stakeholders in the capital, to address the long dwindling take up of the once popular sport.

The meeting, held at Fishmongers’ Hall at the end of September, was organised and chaired by Grant Fear, London’s Angling Development Officer, in a project funded by the Angling Trust, Environment Agency and Thames21. Speakers included former MP Martin Salter and Angling Trust Campaigns Coordinator; Clive Copeland, Angling Trust National Development Manager and Lawrence Talks, Environment Agency Fisheries Manager, who addressed the priorities for getting London angling, how they might be delivered, the recognised benefits of the sport and the advantages of an action group.

Open discussion ranged from opportunities to get youngsters fishing, the need to provide up to date information of where to fish, the development of angling coaching, the role of anglers in enhancing London’s waterways and revitalising fishing clubs across the capital.

London’s Angling Development Officer Grant Fear said: “I was delighted both with the size of the turnout, and the positivity of those who contributed. There is great scope for Londoners of all ages and abilities to enjoy the fishing offered by London’s canals, rivers, ponds and disused docks. Anybody that wishes to contribute to the group, find out more about angling or wants to get involved in their area, should contact Grant at grant.fear@thames21.org.uk

The London Angling Development programme aims to involve people of all ages and abilities, including the disadvantaged, young people, women, and people from all backgrounds in angling in the capital. Through angling, the project aims to connect people with the capital’s waterways and help them get involved in restoring these vital habitats, while learning new skills and enjoying healthy outdoor activity.

Other quotes:

Lawrence Talks Fisheries Manager with the Environment Agency said: “There was a real buzz about the first ever London Angling Action Group meeting, which was fantastic to see.  Angling has so much to offer from providing a really positive activity for youngsters to getting people outdoors and enjoying London’s many waterways. Together we can make a real difference.”

Martin Salter Trust said:
“There is some great fishing to be had in London and opportunities to open up even more. By coming together London’s anglers will create a strong voice for our sport in the capital and help secure its future for the next generation.”

Clive Copeland from the Angling Trust said:
“It was great to see so many people come together to support the future of Angling in London – a really positive beginning.” 

Notes to Editors

  • Thames21 is an environmental charity, working with communities to improve rivers and canals for people and wildlife. Thames21 is a keen supporter of angling programmes and coordinates the annual Catch21 programme to promote to engage people in fishing activities in London
  • The Environment Agency is the leading public body protecting and improving the environment in England and Wales. It’s our job to make sure that air, land and water are looked after by everyone in today’s society, so that tomorrow’s generations inherit a cleaner, healthier world.  Our work includes tackling flooding and pollution incidents, reducing industry’s impacts on the environment, cleaning up rivers, coastal waters and contaminated land, and improving fisheries and wildlife habitats.


  • Sport England is the government agency responsible creating a world class community sport environment. Sport England is accountable to Parliament through the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. Sport England’s new strategy is focused on helping people and communities across the country create a sporting habit for life. www.sportengland.org
  • The Angling Trust is the new, single organisation to represent all game, coarse and sea anglers and angling in England. The formation of the Angling Trust brings with it a positive new future for angling. For the first time ever, there is a single body to take cohesive action to solve all the problems that affect our sport.