The Angling Trust and Fish Legal are delighted to announce that their next Chief Executive will be Jamie Cook – a highly successful coarse angler with extensive business experience – who will be joining them later this year.

Jamie steps into the role following Mark Lloyd’s recent move to Chief Executive of The Rivers Trust after 10 years at the helm. The announcement follows a lengthy recruitment process which saw a wide range of strong candidates applying. In the end the Angling Trust Board and Fish Legal Committee came to a unanimous decision that Jamie is the right person to lead both organisations and angling forward to a brighter future.

Jamie has an all-round passion for fishing and consequently understands the needs of many different types of angler. Jamie’s successful appointment as Chief Executive was in no small part down to his passion, his ability to balance the needs of a broad range of angling disciplines and his extensive commercial success and experience of growing membership organisations. Jamie’s success extends across both the non-profit and commercial worlds and in his latest role as Regional Director of Insider Media he grew membership by nearly 50%.

George Stephenson, Chairman of the Angling Trust commented:

“It is my belief that Jamie will have a strong impact on growing our sport, increasing membership of the sport’s representative body, as well as being able to represent the needs of a broad range of angling interests as leader of both the Angling Trust and Fish Legal. The skills he has developed in leading and building a wide variety of organisations stand him in good stead to help drive not only the Angling Trust and Fish Legal towards a bright new future but also for angling as a whole – which is something we are all striving for.”

Jamie has been a lifelong angler, in his early years learning to fish his local rivers – the Kennet and Thames and at the age of four caught his first barbel. From there he has moved on to focus on specimen coarse angling on local lakes and the Hampshire Avon achieving the remarkable feat of catching a three-pound roach at the age of ten! Jamie then moved on to carp fishing where he was fortunate enough to catch some large and very sought-after carp. More recently, as a father of two young children, his fishing has again changed – this time moving on to focus on sea angling as well as river fishing – allowing him to fit his angling around being a parent as well.

Jamie Cook, the next Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal commented:

“I am a lifelong angler and fishing is, and always will be, my great passion – so naturally I am excited to be taking on this significant role for both the Angling Trust and Fish Legal.

As a regular, all-round angler I understand the challenges and opportunities facing the sport. My long-term vision for the Trust is to create a community, to re-engage with anglers and to build consensus across the many different disciplines of our sport. Angling is diverse and all anglers should feel engaged and empowered by the Trust – I want everyone to have an opportunity to influence the Trust’s work to benefit angling and the environment.

We now have an opportunity to build on the strong foundations which have been laid by Mark Lloyd and the team and be proud of the fantastic contribution and immense benefit angling provides. We have to ensure that anglers not only understand the value and purpose of the Trust but also how the Trust impacts positively on the areas of the sport they enjoy.”

Jamie’s appointment follows the recent launch of the latest National Angling Strategy by the Environment Agency following a consultation with 35,000 anglers.

Jamie commented:

“Angling is the gateway to the outdoors; we need to make angling accessible to new anglers and win back those who have tried the sport and for whatever reason aren’t fishing anymore. Just as importantly we need our current anglers to keep the fishing habit.
As anglers, if we’ve got the right places to fish, that are accessible and enjoyable and full of fish then we are happy. Anything that challenges this will need to be addressed – and will be a priority for me as the next Chief Executive of the Angling Trust and Fish Legal.”

Rob Hughes, Manager of Carp Team England commented:

“I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie recently for a TV interview and it’s great to see that he has a very rounded and grounded understanding of angling. He’s caught some significant fish in all disciplines, “gets it” and is a very successful individual in his own right. His background and professional experience are exactly what The Trust needs and many of his views mirror my own. I am looking forward to working with him in the protection and promotion of both angling and The Trust for the future.”

Jamie will join as Chief Executive for both organisations later in the year and will be attending the Annual Angling Conference, hosted by the Angling Trust at Barston Lakes on 30th November 2019, which anyone can attend.