Message from Chairman Pete Edwards regarding the clubs position on Travel to go fishing.
Due to questions from members about the current Covid local travel guidelines and whether they can travel to Gillingham from outside of the local area to fish, the chairman has discussed the matter with Dorset police. The police support the current Covid guidelines from the government that -
“If you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live.”
With the Covid infection rate still high, the police hope that members of the public would use their common sense and do the right thing and avoid unnecessary travel outside of their local area. The Angling Trust and Sport England are also specific that angling should take place locally. The Angling Trust must again be commended for their immediate lobbying of government in getting us back fishing again in lockdown 3.0, even if it has restricted us to local venues only. As a committee, we endorse these positions and hope that our members will also support them. Itis incumbent on all of us not to jeopardise the work of the Angling Trust and try to circumvent or interpret the guidelines to suit our own situation. The committee fully appreciate that some members may be frustrated and find this situation difficult to understand. But we must all do as much as we can to help the national situation and not make it worse.
However, the Government guidelines have approved angling as exercise and as such state that if you have a genuine need, certified by a health care professional, the following exception applies:
“ If you (or a person in your care) have a health condition that routinely requires you to leave home to maintain your health - including if that involves travel beyond your local area or exercising several times a day - then you can do so.”
All members are encouraged to read the following restrictions for clarity:
If you have any further questions, please contact the Chairman.
Best wishes and stay safe
The River and Lodden Lakes, Whitepost (Subject Todber Rules) and Two Counties are now open to fish.
Please respect the Guidelines as Per Angling Trust and be aware of travel restrictions.
Social Distancing to be maintained plus sanatise hands before and after unlocking and locking gates.
FROM ANGLING TRUST. 7/1/21
The Government have now formally responded to the representations made by the Angling Trust. We have promoted the huge benefits of fishing on individual health and wellbeing and have been able to present a case to which the Government have listened. On this basis I am pleased to announce that fishing will be permitted during the third national lockdown in England.
The Head of Sports Participation at DCMS confirmed the following;
“fishing is allowed as exercise so long as participants adhere to the rules on staying local, gathering limits, social distancing and limiting the time spent outdoors”
This has also been confirmed by DEFRA;
“Cabinet Office have now officially confirmed that angling / fishing (incl. sea fishing off private boats, water sports) can be considered exercise and are hence permitted.”
We have worked extremely hard to reach this position and we as anglers have a duty to abide by the strict conditions under which fishing is once again permitted. With infection rates and death tolls rising we must stick to the Government’s rules and ensure that angling remains part of the solution and does not cause problems.
Please bear in mind these key points which will be reflected in the new Angling Trust guidelines which we will publish shortly:
- This is a strictly limited resumption of LOCAL fishing and very different to how we have been allowed to operate since May
- We are in a National Lockdown and this must be respected. The law requires a ‘reasonable excuse’ to leave your home or penalties will apply.
- The government has recognised that fishing can be seen as exercise, which is expressly permitted under the lockdown rules, although outdoor recreation is not.
- Organised sporting gatherings are prohibited so no match fishing.
- The exercise is limited to once a day so no overnight fishing whatsoever.
- To remain within the law you should follow the government’s guidance, and only fish locally within the district where you live. If you have no local fishing available then you will have to take your daily exercise in other ways.
We are once again able to enjoy the sport we love at a time when many others can not and we must ensure that every angler adheres to the rules.
I would ask all anglers who are not members to join the Angling Trust and give us your support. We have worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome and that is only possible thanks to the support of our new and existing members. I would ask all anglers who value their ability to go fishing to make the same commitment as your fellow anglers have and join the Angling Trust. We are stronger together!
Membership - Angling Trust https://anglingtrust.net/membership/
Stay safe and very best fishes