Angling Trust Volunteer Bailiff Scheme Goes Live
Saturday 19 May saw the first meeting of recruits to the new Angling Trust / Environment Agency Volunteer Bailiff Scheme.
The scheme is being piloted in south east England and will initially involve the 15 volunteers forming ‘Neighborhood Watch’ style groups and acting as the eyes and ears of the Agency to help them target problem areas more effectively and support the work of full time EA Fishery Officers.
The induction day training was led by Mike Heylin Chairman of the Angling Trust and Adrian Saunders who is the Environment Agency’s Fisheries Enforcement Campaigns Manager. The event was a great success with anglers from right across the south east volunteering to take part.
Mike Heylin was enthused by what the scheme hopes to achieve:
"We know that anglers are on waters more than anyone else and can see what is happening. If they join this scheme and work with the Angling Trust and the Environment Agency we can all look forward to more and better enforcement and protection of our fish and fisheries. The pioneers who joined us this week will help us develop a fully functioning system of volunteer bailiffs across the South East and we hope to roll the scheme out nationwide as soon as we have proved how effective it is."
Adrian Saunders was also full of praise for the volunteers and the full time EA staff who will help to train them:
"The Environment Agency can achieve so much more when it works with enthusiastic partners such as this. With so many miles of rivers and thousands of stillwater fisheries, ensuring they are regularly patrolled can be difficult. Every extra recruit will be playing a part in protecting our waters from illegal activity"
The Angling Trust are now busy recruiting the second intake of volunteers, so anyone based in the south east of England who would like to get involved, or anyone who would like further details of the scheme, should contact Angling Trust at firstname.lastname@example.org
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