40 high profile and respected anglers from all disciplines of angling have volunteered to support the Angling Trust by becoming Angling Trust Ambassadors and encouraging every angler in the country to become a member of the Trust. They have given their backing to support the single representative body for all anglers and will be helping support its campaigns to protect fish and fishing.
The Ambassadors include angling TV stars Matt Hayes, Mick Brown, John Bailey and Jeremy Wade as well as top carper Terry Hearn, actor Paul Whitehouse, singer Fergal Sharkey and gold-medal winning athlete Dean Macey.
England anglers Bob Nudd MBE, Chris Clark, Sandra Scotthorne, and Wendy Lythgoe-Clark have lent their support, along with angling authors including Charles Jardine, Jon Beer, Luke Jennings, Charles Rangeley-Wilson and Chris Yates. Sea anglers including Leon Roskilly, Malcolm Gilbert, Henry Gilbey and Jim Whippy have united with specialist anglers Neville Fickling and Jan Porter to support the work of the Trust.
Their new roles were announced last week at three launch events on the last day of the coarse fishing river season.
Des Taylor and Dave Harrell joined the Trust's National Campaigns Co-ordinator Martin Salter at the iconic coarse fishing haven of Bewdley on the River Severn. Jim Whippy, Leon Roskilly and Chris Clark met up to fish at Pevensey Bay on the South Coast while Angling Trust chief executive Mark Lloyd joined game angler Charles Jardine on the River Wye near Builth Wells.
Mark Lloyd said: "We have been overwhelmed and extremely grateful with the strength of support from so many big names from the world of angling and beyond. The Angling Trust is honoured to have HRH the Duke of Edinburgh as our Patron, but to have the equivalent of angling's royalty sign up to support us is very humbling. A massive thank you must go to all the Ambassadors for offering to help us campaign to promote angling and protect it from threats such as pollution, abstraction, predation, hydropower, poaching and commercial overfishing."
Martin Salter, the new National Campaigns Co-ordinator for the Angling Trust said: "It is now time that all anglers who care about the future of their sport got behind the Angling Trust so that we can have the mandate and the resources we need to persuade politicians and others in power to take action to protect and improve our fish stocks and fishing. As a former MP, I know that numbers matter to politicians. The Angling Trust needs far more individual members if it is going to compete with organisations like the RSPB for the attention of Ministers. The support of this veritable army of ambassadors is all the evidence anyone should need that the Angling Trust is the only show in town and is going places."
Jeremy Wade, Author and TV presenter (River Monsters) said: "I'm supporting the Angling Trust because it's only interest groups that can put forward a united and coherent message who stand any chance of making any impact."
Matt Hayes, Angling Writer and Broadcaster said: "The reasons I've joined the Angling Trust are simple and straightforward, it represents me as a fisherman, whether I am a game fisherman, a coarse fisherman or a sea fisherman. We are all anglers and the Angling Trust is driving our sport forward and if you don't join you're not a fisherman!"
Top carp angler Terry Hearn said: "It's time that all carp anglers join the Angling Trust to protect their fish and fishing from fish theft, fish disease, the taking of fish for the table, predation and angling bans. Get behind the Trust now. I'm a member and you should be too!"
John Bailey, Angling Writer and Photographer said: "The successes achieved by the Angling Trust are only possible because of the thousands of anglers who pay their subscriptions to support its vital campaigning and legal work. I was privileged to be the Vice President of the Angling Trust's legal arm when it was known as the ACA and I'm going to be a supporter of the Angling Trust for a very long time to come."
Brian Clarke, Times Fishing correspondent, and Former President, the Wild Trout Trust said: "The Angling Trust is the most important development in angling in my lifetime. For the first time it has given the sport the single, coherent voice it so long lacked. The trust speaks for us all in the face of ever-mounting pressures: environmental pressures (pollution, abstraction), social pressures (increasing detachment from the countryside, a consequent shifting of public attitudes to field sports of all kinds, reduced recruitment) - and the direct attacks of those who would see angling banned. To any angler who is not a trust member I would say join now, join today: protect the heritage that you have enjoyed - and keep it safe for your children."
Expert fly fisherman and illustrator Charles Jardine, said: "If you are committed to angling; then you should be committed to this organisation. The Angling Trust exists for us: now, in the future and children's future. Just support them, please."
Charles Rangeley-Wilson, President The Wild Trout Trust, Trustee The Norfolk Rivers Trust and Patron The Wandle Piscators said: "The environmental, economic and social pressures on our rivers and lakes come from all sides and will not go away anytime soon. Anglers are the custodians of this national heritage and we need to speak with one voice to be heard and to be influential."
Paul Whitehouse, Comic Actor and Writer said; "As long as individual voices can be heard within an organisation, it helps to have a single focus and point of contact for our concerns. The Angling Trust deserves the support of all anglers."
Andrew Herd, Executive editor of Waterlog magazine said: "Angling has a rich past and a promising future - but only if fishermen unite behind the Angling Trust."
Chris Clark, International Match Angler said: "Being fragmented will only multiply the numerous problems for all anglers but having a strong unified body speaking with one voice will send out a clear message to those in power, it's the only way forward to protect the sport we love. Continuously complaining and moaning from the outside without any real goal will achieve nothing, it has a negative impact."
Henry Gilbey, TV presenter, Angling Photographer and Journalist said: "Ask any sea angler what they would like to see in the future and I bet you that 99% of the time the answer is a collective more and bigger fish to catch. That is exactly what I want to see myself, and I firmly believe that now is the time to align ourselves behind the Angling Trust and give them the chance to make this a reality. I worry hugely about the future of UK saltwater fishing, so the least we can do is to give the UK's one professional organisation the best possible go at protecting our sport."
Jim Whippy, Sea Angling Writer and Boat Fishing Guide said: "It's already shown that the strength in unity has given the Angling Trust the ear of various department of the government. One voice speaking for all anglers has got to be the only way we will be heard and taken notice of."
Malcolm Gilbert, Sea Angling conservationist said: "The sheer diversity of sea angling inevitably results in a wide array of opinions on fisheries management issues. Sea anglers must learn to put their differences to one side in order to unite and focus of achieving far greater political clout for the overall good of our fishery resources and future sea anglers. We must work together to bring a cultural mindset change to fisheries management where currently short term political appeasement of commercial fishing interests dominate, to one where the restoration and well being of the fishery resources themselves become the overarching priority."
Des Taylor, said: "Waters like my river, the Severn, need to be looked after for the future of angling and I see that protection coming from the Angling Trust. I am honoured to be asked to be an Ambassador for the Trust."
Dave Harrell, said; "Fishing has been a massive part of my life since I was five years old and the thought of not being able to fish my favourite rivers in the future is something I don't even want to consider. I know many other anglers all over the country feel the same way and by supporting the Angling Trust we can ensure that we have the very best support in terms of fighting pollution issues, predation and poaching. I'd urge everyone to join so that we can continue to enjoy the places that we all love going to."
The full list of the first 40 Angling Trust Ambassadors:
Alan Scotthorne, Andy Little, Andrew Herd, Bob Nudd MBE , Brian Clarke, Charles Jardine, Charles Rangeley-Wilson, Chris Clark, Chris Yates, David Hall, Dave Harrell, Des Taylor, Dean Macey, Feargal Sharkey, Graham Mole, Henry Gilbey, Hugh Miles, Jan Porter, Jeremy Wade, Jim Baxter, Jim Whippy, John Bailey, Jon Beer, Keith Arthur, Keith Elliott, Leon Roskilly, Luke Jennings, Malcolm Gilbert, Malcolm Greenhalgh, Martin James, Mick Brown, Neville Fickling, Oliver Edwards, Paul Whitehouse, Roy Marlow, Sandra Scotthorne, Steve Collett, Steve Ringer, Terry Hearn, Wendy Lythgoe-Clark, Will Raison.