The Environment Agency has helped fund a platform that will enable people with disabilities enjoy the angling facilities on offer at Hailsham Country Park Lake in East Sussex.

The Environment Agency paid £15,000 towards the cost of the platform that will help increase angling opportunities for all in this urban area. Look out for angling participation days to be held at the park later in the year.

Mark Bennett, Environment Agency Fisheries Officer, said of the work:

“This facility is quite unique within the area and will benefit many disabled anglers. The location lends itself perfectly for our angling participation days so we are hoping to take advantage of this to help those who might not otherwise have a chance to try out this great sport.
 
“We were only able to commit this money to the project thanks to the money we raise through rod licence sales. All of this money is invested directly in fisheries work that benefits all anglers. And the great news is that we have now extended the disability concession. It used to cover Blue Badge holders with severe mobility problems but now anyone who receives Disability Living Allowance is eligible for half price licence.”

The Environment agency worked on the project with Hailsham Town Council who own the lake. The disabled platform was recommended by the British Disabled Angling Association. It was designed with a smooth surface, graded ramps and rails and includes pathways which are wide enough for wheelchair users to have access at ease.

To get more information on angling events coming up in your area go to www.environment-agency.gov.uk/subjects/fish/ or call Mark Bennett on 01903 703848.

The Environment Agency is reminding all anglers that rod licences expire on March 31. Almost three million people who receive Disability Living Allowance in England and Wales are eligible for a half price fishing licence from April 1, 2007.

The Environment Agency has extended the disability concession – which used to cover only Blue Badge holders with severe mobility problems – to include all people receiving Disability Living Allowance. New rod licences can be purchased from 15,000 Post Offices and other outlets which sell them. For more information telephone 0870 1662662 or visit www.environment-agency.gov.uk/rodlicence.

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