imgres-9This week an important angling conference was held on London’s South Bank. Teams from The Countryside Alliance Foundation’s flagship Fishing for Schools project, as well as from Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland, which we fund, were both in attendance.

The conference, ‘Fishing for Answers’, had a strong focus on the social and youth-related benefits of angling and presented the findings from the recent Social and Community Benefits of Angling Research Project, which we supported.

The Minister for the Natural Environment and Fisheries, Richard Benyon MP, spoke passionately about his belief in fishing’s role as a “spiritual uplift” and he also outlined the Government’s commitments on numerous angling and conservation-related issues from youth angling schemes to cormorants, hydro-energy and non-native species.

The Minister also spoke strongly about over-fishing and outlined the Government’s commitment to tackling the problem, pointing out that Western Europe cannot hold itself up as any kind of conservation model while current over-fishing levels persist.

Gloria Shingler, Counsellor and Trustee for Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland also addressed the event, outlining the programme and speaking movingly about the positive difference the charity is making.
The charity, as you know, offers ladies who have, or have had, breast cancer the chance to go on a retreat at which counselling and support groups are enhanced by the beautiful sport of fly fishing. More news on Casting for Recovery UK & Ireland’s 2012 schedule will be available soon.

Attended by representatives from the Angling Trust, the Environment Agency, the Wild Trout Trust, DEFRA, Thames Water and others, this conference was a welcome opportunity to exchange news and feel positive about the many worthwhile projects currently going on in the angling world.