The Angling Trust has announced the development of a new project to officially promote angling in Wales. Named ‘Fishing In Wales’, the project is well under way, with an official launch planned for Spring 2020. Visit Wales is the main funding partner, with additional match funding being provided by Natural Resources Wales.
The Angling Trust will be delivering the project, with the aim of building ‘Fishing In Wales’ as a brand that will be an important resource for anglers and for anyone who wants to go fishing for the first time.
The aim is to encourage significantly more angling participation in Wales. Recreational rod and line fishing is a valuable part of the Welsh rural economy, but it needs to be more widely acknowledged and promoted for it to grow and add further value, and to support rural areas to maximise revenue from tourism.
Our target goals include:
Encouraging existing Welsh anglers to fish more
Inspiring lapsed anglers to pick up a rod again
Attracting newcomers to the sport, particularly through crossover market appeal
Attracting more visiting anglers from England and other areas of the UK
Marketing Wales as an attractive fishing holiday destination, therefore encouraging more visits from the USA, and EU countries such as Benelux, France and Germany
To achieve this, the Angling Trust is producing a modern, content-driven website as a solid foundation. Working in collaboration with well-known Welsh anglers and writers, the website will include key information on where, how and when to fish in Wales, covering all angling disciplines.
The website will also include information on where to stay near good fishing locations, where to purchase fishing tackle locally and where to hire a fishing guide or charter boat.
Additionally, the website will focus on quality, image-led ‘blog style’ articles from a wide variety of established and respected Welsh angling writers. These articles will be shared and promoted dynamically, in line with seasonal angling trends. A collective of 17 contributors have already signed up, many of whom have an established pedigree as experts within the angling world, such as Steffan Jones, George Barron and Dave Lewis to name just a few.
Promotional video will play an extremely important role and will showcase the numerous spectacular, world class fishing destinations in Wales. For example, llyn fishing in Snowdonia, river fishing for wild trout and grayling, sea fishing for bass off the rugged Pembrokeshire coast, and coarse fishing for pike and barbel, will all be covered. Fishing In Wales video content will involve high profile Welsh anglers such as Hywel Morgan, and will be produced by Welsh angling filmmaker Rob Hughes, who is widely acknowledged as one of the best angling media producers in the industry.
Social media will play a key role in the marketing campaign and will widely share and promote the website, its written content, images and video. Social media channels will include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube. Maximum reach to audiences will be facilitated using modern marketing techniques, ensuring that Wales is widely promoted as the premier fishing destination that it deserves to be.
Ultimately, the outcome must be more angling participation in Wales. We will make it easier for people to fish in Wales – the Wye and Usk Foundation’s Fishing Passport will receive investment and will be integrated into the site, to allow finding and then booking day ticket fishing, to be as seamless as possible.
Ultimately, this project will raise the profile of Welsh angling, underlining its importance not just to the Welsh rural economy, but as a traditional and cultural asset that is truly priceless.
This has been achieved due to the hard work of stakeholders such as Gwent Angling Society and various other Welsh angling clubs and groups; also, individual Welsh anglers, who together, have tirelessly lobbied for Welsh angling to finally gain the official recognition it deserves.
With 2020 as Visit Wales’s “Year of the Outdoors”, fishing is a natural fit into this themed year – where better to enjoy fishing, an outdoors activity for people of all ages and experience, than in Wales? As part of the Fishing In Wales project, the Visit Wales website will feature bespoke Fishing In Wales content that will promote fishing as a mainstream, outdoors activity, that everyone can enjoy in Wales as part of a wellbeing experience.
To help deliver the project Angling Trust has appointed a Welsh angler as the project Marketing Manager.
Educated in Aberystwyth with a background in Marine and Freshwater biology, Ceri Thomas has over 15 years marketing experience, obtained while working in the Welsh fishing tackle Industry for fly line manufacturer Airflo. Ceri is also an angling writer, having contributed to many online and printed publications – often with a strong Welsh theme.
Most importantly, Ceri has fished in Wales for over 30 years and has a vast knowledge of all disciplines of Welsh angling, thus allowing him to understand and cater for the needs of anglers within Wales, and also to market Wales as an attractive angling destination for those living elsewhere in the UK and overseas.
Ceri Thomas said:
“I’ve always felt that Wales is a truly special place to fish, with angling opportunities that rival many of the best locations in the world. As a Welsh angler, I have always been incredibly passionate about Wales, its beautiful landscape, history and superb wild fishing – I see this role as a fantastic opportunity to express that passion.
“Long neglected, official Welsh angling promotion is vital for the future of our sport. If we encourage anglers from home and abroad to fish in Wales, fishing will deservedly continue to be recognised as a valuable part of our rural tourism economy, thus allowing us to continue to address many of the issues affecting Welsh angling today.
“As well as encouraging more people to fish our wild and wonderful rivers, lakes and seas, I hope this project will serve to unite the Welsh angling community and leave a lasting legacy for the future.
“Croeso i Pysgota yng Nghymru – Welcome to Fishing In Wales!”
Dave Collins, Vice Chairman of Gwent Angling Society said:
“We were delighted that Natural Resources Wales and Visit Wales responded so positively to our paper in 2018. Our document outlined the positive impact of previous promotional campaigns in Wales and the potential for significantly increasing angling participation, and the revenue which it generates, by promoting angling in a more sustainable way in future.
“For generations, ordinary working people in over 120 Welsh angling clubs, have provided access to Welsh rivers and other inland fisheries. This not only benefits those living locally, but also provides the foundation for angling tourism and its wider rewards.
“In Wales, our natural resources are one of our greatest assets. Our fisheries provide biodiversity and tranquility in an increasingly stressful and noisy world, and the social and economic impact of angling in Wales aligns perfectly with success criteria set out in the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act (2015).
“We and other angling clubs will continue to do all we can to monitor, maintain and preserve fisheries and habitat for future generations, whilst encouraging people to go fishing and helping them to enjoy success. Therefore, we are delighted that the promotional vision which we set out in 2018, supported by Angling Cymru and the Angling Trust, will become reality in 2020.
“Croeso i Pysgota yng Nghymru – Welcome to Fishing In Wales!”
Rob Evans, Specialist Advisor: Freshwater Fisheries Management for Natural Resources Wales said:
“NRW is delighted to be involved with the Angling Trust and other partners in this project which will help put Wales on the map as a top quality angling destination. Wales is blessed with a wealth of angling opportunities many of which can be considered world class, including wild brown trout fishing in our many remote upland lakes and fly fishing for sea trout/sewin on easily accessible river fisheries, many of which offer day tickets for both local and visiting anglers.
“It is also great to see this project being used to promote responsible and sustainable angling such as best practice for Catch & Release as this will help ensure fishing in Wales has a bright future and will be enjoyed by generations to come.”