What do you or I know about the organisation that is Natural England ? I will be honest now, until this week I did not know or care to much about them.Sure you hear the name mentioned a lot,but I did not really pick up on the ramifications to us as anglers, until the Autumn edition of the PAC magazine Pikelines arrived at home on Monday.
Chris Bishop has written a very good article,on how they may have a very large say on how we fish or go about our pastime,in the coming years.Who is Chris Bishop ? Well he is the Pike Anglers Club,Press Officer.The PAC and Chris used the "Freedom of information Laws" to uncover a paper trail of policy papers.That may and I say may at present,cause us as anglers, to completely change the way we fish.Not just for Pike,but all species.Access to waters,sharing our waters with other pastimes,turfing anglers off to make way for bird watches and picnic tables.
I'll say here and now, this may not come to fruition.But we the angler must be aware of what may happen.What can you do at present ? Not an awful lot to be honest,but make your clubs and society's,know of what Natural England wish to do.As you are reading this Natural England's proposals are about to go to consultation.
A quote that really stood out for me was this......."I can imagine that many CO's have no idea the problems anglers can cause and don't even consider them when formulating management plans.However,I don't think this rationale for the policy is one we'd want written down in a public document as it wouldn't make us look very good". That was penned by Stephen Arnott of Natural England's Policy Team.That to me speaks volumes of the struggle we may be in for,in the ensuing years ?
You can read a large chunk of Chris Bishops article on the PAC website,via the link on this blog.Go to the "Latest News" and scroll down until you get to the "Exposed" entry and it may give you a taste of what we are up against.
Well done "Bish" some cracking work mate.It's looking tough at present as I think the Notts Wildlife Trust,have banned angling on 64 out of the 65 waters it controls.Where and when next ?
As for today,had five hours on the river for one small Chub,while fishing for Barbel.First time on this river,for Barbel this season.Like "Arnie" I'll be back.