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18/5/2021 Angling Trust Guidelines (Roadmap Step 3) - UPDATED 18/5/2021

These guidelines have been produced by the Angling Trust in their capacity as the recognised national governing body for all forms of recreational fishing in England. They have been drawn up following extensive dialogue with relevant Government departments and our colleagues in the Environment Agency to help anglers, fishery owners and managers to better understand what is permissible at the current time.

Angling Trust have updated our guidelines to take account of the changes that have taken place as part of Step 3 of the government’s roadmap, which came into force on May 17th and will be valid until Step 4 (no earlier than June 21st). As angling has been fully operational from March 29th, the only matters of substance for the majority of our sport are concerned with spectators, car sharing, hospitality and overnight stays in formal accommodation.

Spectators are now permitted at competitions and angling events and shows, both indoors and outdoors, but they should maintain social distancing and must adhere to social gathering limits (groups of up to 30 outdoors and groups of up to six people/made up of two households indoors. Multiple groups of spectators are permitted.)

Car sharing is permitted for sport and physical activity. The guidance for safer travel should be followed.

Angling Clubhouses including those that serve food and drink can now open. Outdoor hospitality including club barbecues are now permitted although groups are limited to 30. The guidance on hospitality settings should be followed.

Holiday venues may now reopen meaning that angling sites providing onsite accommodation are free to take bookings from May 17th and anglers can organise their own accommodation for fishing trips.

With the exception of the above, the remainder of the Angling Trust guidelines remain in place.

Please refer to both the government guidance and the helpful Sport England FAQs for further information.

Read the Government Guidance Here

Read the Sport England FAQ's Here

16/3/2021 - Angling Trust statement on fishing in England from March 29th

Updated: March 16th, 2021

Following the Angling Trust’s February 11th submission to the Cabinet Office making the case for a relaxation of travel restrictions and a return to all forms of angling – including night fishing, charter boat angling and match fishing – we have been having intense discussions with government officials who are drawing up the new guidance for the return of outdoor sports and recreation for the next relaxation in the Covid restrictions due on March 29th.

The Angling Trust is pleased to announce the Cabinet Office and Defra have now confirmed to us the following from March 29th:

  • Fishing will remain permitted as outdoor recreation or exercise for up to 6 people, or in a larger group if everyone present is from the same two households.  A ‘household’ can include the support bubble linked to that household [if eligible].

  • Outdoor recreational activities and exercise may take place at night so you may fish into or through the night. There are no time limits on outdoor recreation. However, you may not go on holiday to go fishing or use fishing as a pretext for a camping trip as overnight stays for these purposes remain prohibited until April 12th (Step 2)

  • Match fishing will be enabled as an organised outdoor sport from March 29th. Organised outdoor sports will not be subject to the gatherings limits, but should be compliant with guidance issued by national governing bodies to ensure appropriate steps, including risk assessments, are taken to make it Covid secure in line with the law. At this stage, these gatherings must only include participants – not spectators.

  • Private boat fishing under the Rule of 6 and charter boats operating in accordance with Covid precautions should now both be allowed. However, where fishing takes place on a partially enclosed boat (eg with a cabin or lounge area) with the exception of the skipper, those outside the household support bubble must not go indoors (except for access to/use of the toilet).

  • The statutory stay at home restriction will be lifted but the guidance will encourage you to minimise travel outside of your local area. This means avoiding making unnecessary journeys, combining trips and avoiding travel at peak times where possible. People should avoid travelling further than is reasonably necessary to take part in, or during, their activity.

  • Tackle shops and other ‘non-essential retail’ can fully open at Step 2 (April 12th) but can continue to offer click/call and collect until this point. Fisheries offering self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households, can also reopen at this time.

  • Throughout, anglers must also ensure they are in possession of a valid fishing licence, adhere to fisheries bylaws including the close season (March 15 to June 15 for coarse fishing on rivers) and have permission of the fishery owner.

Although the regulations are yet to be published we fully expect them to be in line with the above.


A series of FAQs will be published as usual by Sport England in addition to any departmental guidance.

The Angling Trust will update its formal guidelines once we have seen the regulations and had the benefit of legal advice. In the meantime, and with this caveat, we advise angling clubs and fisheries to plan on this basis.

11/3/2021 - Fishing out of Lockdown - Angling Trust Update

Updated: March 11th, 2021

It’s now a month since we put in our submission to the Cabinet Office for a return to all forms of angling including night fishing and competitions. A big thank you to the thousands of you who have indicated your support. It has certainly helped in our discussions with the officials who are drawing up the new government guidance to know that we have your backing.

We still have some outstanding issues to resolve and are working to secure the clarification needed but we remain hopeful that night fishing, match fishing and wider travel for angling will all be confirmed from March 29th as we were last summer and autumn.

Hopefully, we should be able to make an announcement next week. Thanks for your patience!

22/2/2021 - Roadmap Out Of Lockdown: What it means for angling - Angling Trust Update

Update: February 22nd 2021

The Angling Trust has responded to today’s government announcement on the easing of lockdown restrictions in England saying:

“Although it’s positive that the government have accepted the case that outdoor activities such as angling should be first to fully open up it looks like no real change for us until March 29th when restrictions are lifted and outdoor sports can resume. The Stay Home message and travel restrictions remain in place until then with the exception of a provision for outdoor recreation as well as exercise. Since angling has been deemed ‘permissible exercise’ throughout lockdown this is unlikely to affect us.

“We will know more when the regulations and DCMS guidance are published in the coming days and will update everybody if anything changes. Having a clear date at least means that anglers, clubs and fisheries can plan for the forthcoming season with more certainty and we can all look forward to once again being able to fish our favourite waters in a manner of our choosing.”

Currently anglers are restricted to fishing locally once a day, as a form of exercise, with one other person and no organised gatherings or competitions. Most other sports remain prohibited. The Angling Trust submitted a case to government for the early and full resumption of all forms of angling including night fishing and competitions. These will now be possible from March 29th.

Update: January 8th 2021

Fishing will be allowed to resume as part of daily exercise from 8/1/21 with some restrictions









KEMPSTON LAKE - Open From 10am Friday 8th Jan - fishing dawn to dusk only.

GRAND UNION CANAL - Open from Dawn Friday 8th Jan

BECKERINGS - Open from 10am Friday 8th Jan

WYBOSTON COMPLEX (South Lagoon River Ouse and North House Lake)

Open from 10am Friday 8th Jan You can Arrive at 06:30 and must leave the venue by 17:00hrs - Club books will be checked at the main gate and you will be turned away if not from the immediate local area - Security Gatehouse decision is FINAL! if you choose not to provide details then you will not be allowed access. No personal details will be recorded or stored 

ALL RIVER SECTIONS - Open from Dawn Friday 8th Jan SLIPE LANE PITS - Open Friday 8th Jan



There is no perfect definition of ‘local’, so the best advice I can think of is imagine defending where you have chosen to fish if you end up having to defend yourself in court. I think you would struggle with a 50 mile trip and according to GOV.UK You should not travel outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live. This may be difficult for some however if you have no waters in your immediate local area then you will have to find an alternate form of exercise.

If you choose not to show your details to the bailiffs or security at Wyboston they may not allow you access on to their property. If too much hassle is created they will just close the venue to angling during the lockdown!

Checks may also be made by Bailiffs, Police, EA to ensure the government advice is being followed with regard to night fishing and the travel restrictions you are responsible for your interpretation of the government rules and your actions based upon them - If in doubt stay at home.


If the rules are blatantly disregarded then these permissions may be revoked. Let's not screw this up!


Further info

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