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Scots anglers need to mobilise to help ease lockdown restrictions on fishing

Scottish government website looking for ideas on lockdown easing closes tonight at 10pm



The Scottish government is currently casting for ideas on what elements people will be looking for as soon as they make any move towards easing lockdown. First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said last night that she didn’t want any mixed messages to come from Boris Johnson’s ‘Stay alert’ slogan which he announced last night (May 10). Instead, she issued the same message Scots have been hearing for the past six weeks ‘Stay at home’. For anglers, this means that, if you live in England, you will be able to fish from Wednesday, May 13. But if you live in Scotland (or Wales, or Northern Ireland), then nothing has changed - you still can’t go fishing.

However, in Scotland the Scottish government is inviting comment on what people require whenever we begin to come out of lockdown, and asking for public input on the things that would improve your life after lockdown. Nicola Sturgeon emphasised the need for transparency when she launched this framework and invited the people of Scotland to engage in this conversation to help us take the next steps to navigate to a ‘new normal’.  

You can take part by registering and then see existing ideas which are rating highly and attracting most comment, and you can also use the search and filter tools to find specific topics, leave comments and also add your own ideas.

Currently, being allowed to play golf features high on the list, and attracting a lot of comment, but I know that there are thousands of anglers out there who are frustrated that they cannot participate in a sport which is naturally self-isolating and has many benefits in terms of physical and mental well-being.

Other beneficial points about angling are that opening it up reduces pressure on other public spaces; there is proven evidence that non-contact outdoor activities will not increase infection rates; angling appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds and engages able-bodied and disabled participants alike; and the majority of the population live close to a waterway minimising the need for significant travel.

If you haven't visited the site yet to vote on ideas, or want submit a new one, you can do so by going to https://www.ideas.gov.scot and logging in. Once logged in, you can also view, comment on and rate other people's ideas. This part of the survey closes tonight (May 11) at 10pm.

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