ANGLING is safe under the three main political parties, the Angling Trust found at their party conferences.

In partnership with the British Association for Shooting and Conservation, Trust representatives attended the Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative autumn conferences.

They spoke about the importance of angling at a series of specially organised Rural Receptions attended by ministers and shadow ministers, MPs, councillors and party delegates.

Angling Trust campaigns chief, and former MP Martin Salter (pictured above, left) said: Although the economic benefits of recreational fishing are massive fishing is about much more than catching fish or spending our spare cash.

“It has huge benefits for individuals and communities in terms of our health and well-being, our understanding of both the countryside and the environment and even in some cases in diverting kids at risk away from anti-social behaviour, drugs and crime.

“We are extremely fortunate at the Trust to have a great working relationship with MPs of all parties on the All Party Angling Group and it’s important to us to have Parliamentarians who know and understand the issues that affect our sport and who are happy to see them raised in Westminster and with ministers.”

Labour’s shadow environment secretary Sue Hayman MP said: “Both BASC and the AT carry out vital conservation work. Sustainability has to be at the heart of everything we do.

“We want people to be able to continue to enjoy shooting and angling while promoting conservation, biodiversity and protecting our environment.

“I’ll keep working with BASC and the Angling Trust to ensure that this sustainability and conservation of British wildlife is high on the policy agenda at Westminster.”

And Baroness Cathy Bakewell, the Liberal’s Lords spokesperson on rural affairs, said: “I fully appreciate the contribution made by fishing to rural and coastal life.

“I have spent many enjoyable hours sitting on river banks with my husband while he fishes and I am well versed in its benefits to the economy and the environment.”

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