A joint initiative by the Environment Agency, Angling Trust and Thames21 aims to boost angling opportunities and the number of anglers in the capital with the appointment of a new angling development manager for London.

Grant Fear has a strong background in coordinating angling-related projects in London and is well-placed to work with communities across the capital to encourage people to fish their local waters.

There are a large number of excellent angling waters in London, many of which have been cleaned up by the environmental charity Thames21 over the past decade. As well as the River Thames, there is a network of rivers, canals, reservoirs and ponds throughout the capital, but information about where to fish can be hard to come by for young people.

London Angling Development Manager Grant Fear said: ‘London is a fantastic place for angling, and many of our best fishing spots are under-utilised. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to make the sport more accessible for Londoners and to help ensure its sustainability into the future.’

Angling is an excellent activity for young or disaffected people as it encourages concentration, understanding of, and respect for, the natural world and builds a range of skills. It has been shown to have a transformational effect on many young people who have got into trouble in the past. Additionally, the presence of anglers on the waterside can help prevent litter, graffiti, vandalism and reduce the rate and fear of crime. Recent research has highlighted the important role that anglers play in maintaining and improving water environments.

Environment Agency Fisheries Specialist Lawrence Talks, said, ‘I am excited about the opportunities for developing angling in London and our partnership with Thames21 and the Angling Trust will help give Londoners the opportunity to try fishing, learn about wetland wildlife and get involved.’

The Angling Trust’s Chief Executive Mark Lloyd said: ‘Grant’s appointment is supported by Sport England and will expand on some existing good work such as getting angling included in the London School Games. He will be aiming to increase the training and coordination of coaches through two London Angling Action Groups and will also improve the availability of information about where to fish in the capital, particularly through Angling Trust member clubs and fisheries.’

Thames21 Chief Executive Debbie Leach said: ‘This initiative will be fantastic for both new and existing anglers in London. In Grant’s previous role with Thames21, he was responsible for introducing thousands of people to the sport. Now, this important new partnership between Thames21, the Angling Trust and the Environment Agency will help create a vibrant, developing angling scene in London which opens up a range of opportunities and ways for people to enjoy and progress in angling.’

Grant will be hosted by Thames 21 from its London office and he can be contacted on grant.fear@thames21.org.uk or 07969 645 201

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