Running an event? Here’s how to get a free fishing licence for everyone coming…

16th May 2018
In his latest blog Angling Trust Partnership Development Manager James Roche James explains how he can help your club, fishery, school, charity, coaches or other organisations to get a free group fishing licence so that more people can take part and discover the peace, health and well-being benefits and challenges of angling.


After years of experience running angling events myself I know only too well that there are loads of things to think about if you want to help introduce the public to the wonderful world of angling. Don’t worry though as the Angling Trust‘s ‘Get Fishing‘ campaign is here to make sure that fishing licences are one thing that’s easy to get sorted.

You might not realise but it’s a legal requirement for anyone over the age of 13 who wants to go fishing in freshwater rivers, streams, canals and stillwaters to have an Environment Agency fishing licence. And it’s no different if you are going fishing for the first time or have been doing it for a lifetime.

That might seem a bit off-putting if you’re trying to organise an event just to give people a go at angling, but fishing licences are a long-standing way of making sure people who go fishing contribute back into the environments that fish and other wildlife rely on. Each year the small cost anglers pay to hold a licence contributes to millions of pounds of work to protect fish and fishing. Think of it a bit like car tax where you get to drive your car on a safe road system that gets you from A to B as best as possible.

However, help is on hand from the Angling Trust’s Participation Team: Clubs, fisheries, charities, schools, coaches and other event organisers can apply to us for what’s known as a free fishing licence “waiver” to cover the event, so that your event’s visitors don’t require a fishing licence while they’re taking part.

The process of applying couldn’t be more straightforward either. Simply contact me using [email protected] if you’re located in the north or east of England or it’s Dean Asplin at [email protected] if you’re in the south.

We’ll help you fill out a simple application form (…don’t worry it only takes a couple of minutes!) and arrange temporary cover from the Environment Agency for your event(s), so that anyone coming is free to fish on the day without the worry of needing to buy a fishing licence themselves.

Without a waiver each participant will need a fishing licence. For adults, its costs £6 for a day fishing licence which can be purchased over the phone on 0344 800 5386, online or in person at a Post Office.

If your event’s participants are not in possession of a fishing licence or you do not have a waiver in place, anyone fishing leaves themselves open to the risk of prosecution.

Fishing licence waivers are free to apply for and are a great way of making it as easy as possible for non-anglers to get into fishing. With one less thing to worry about, participants are free to discover what a fantastic activity angling really is. Drop me an email today for more information.

About James…

In his role as Partnership Development Manager for the Angling Trust James helps clubs, fisheries, schools, charities and other groups around England become part of our ‘Get Fishing’ campaign. The campaign is funded by the Environment Agency from rod licence money, organises events to get more people fishing more often and encourages non-anglers to give fishing a go. Tens of thousands of people have tried angling as a result of ‘Get Fishing’. Why not get involved too?

[email protected]
07791 786 251