The Angling Trust signed up over a hundred new members at this year’s CLA Game Fair at Blenheim Palace during the weekend despite a smaller than usual fishing presence at the annual country sports and lifestyle event. The brand new stand with new displays and a range of activities at the revamped House of  Fishing proved popular with visitors who were able to hear how the Angling Trust and Fish Legal is standing up for fishing and fighting the threats to our sport.

The Trust also issued a special Ambassador badge to some of the Angling Trust Ambassadors who were helping out at the Game Fair including Malcolm Greenhalgh, Carl & Alex Smith, Mark Everard, Chris Clark, Barney Wright, Phil Smith, Alex Jardine, Charles Jardine, Neville Fickling, John Bailey, Keith Elliott & Sarah Collins.  The Trust also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Get Hooked on Fishing at the show to recognise the two organisations’ close collaborative relationship promoting angling participation.

International photographer and flyfishing expert Matt Harris also signed up as the Trust’s latest Ambassador and was on hand to give tips to visitors on catching big game fish on the fly.

Visitors to the Game Fair were able to:

  • Watch expert lure fishing demos by England international’s Gary and Sam Edmonds and have a go themselves in the special lure tank
  • Have a go on Get Hooked on Fishing’s charity fish fighting machine and win a place on the leaderboard
  • Learn about angling enforcement, the volunteer bailiff scheme,  and tackling invasive species with CEFAS
  • Try identifying the fish species in the EA’s impressive fish tank
  • Get some great hints and tips for catching those ‘bucket list’ fish at the Angling Trust / Selectafly Pro Team Clinic
  • Chat with Team England anglers and coaches and learn about the new Talent Pathway programme
  • Meet representatives from the Wheelyboat Trust and Thames Water’s Angling Academy
  • Put questions to Mark Lloyd and Martin Salter at the Open Forums in the House of Fishing ‘Talks Area’
  • Learn to fish under the tuition of licensed coaches at the launch of National Fishing Month which saw more than 900 people given expert guidance in coarse and game angling, funded by Environment Agency rod licence revenue.

Angling Trust Chief Executive Mark Lloyd said:
The Game Fair is one of the premier events in the country sporting calendar and our staff and volunteers put in a huge amount effort to make the revamped House of Fishing an exciting and interesting place to visit. It was great to be able to welcome so many new members into our ranks whose support, along with that of our ambassadors, will help us to be better able to fight for fish and fishing.

Photo: Several of the new Angling Trust Ambassadors recieved their badges at the Game Fair.