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Anglian Water boat hire closes

Anglian Water has closed its boat fishing hire along with its retail shops after the latest round of coronavirus regulations imposed on England, although bank fishing is to continue. "Following further guidance, unfortunately fishing boat hire and water sports including sailing and windsurfing access will be closed along with our retail shops (excluding cycling)", posted Anglian Water Fisheries, who run Rutland Water, Grafham, Pitsford and Ravensthorpe reservoirs.

Under the new rules angling is permissible form of ‘outdoor recreation’, and a lawful reason to leave home. Angling can take place, without time limits, within the provision allowing people “to visit a public outdoor space for the purposes of open air recreation”.

Fisheries are not on the published list of businesses that the government has ordered to close and, says the Angling Trust, "there is no reason that they should do so, providing that they operate in accordance with the rules".

"Bank fishing will be permitted in line with our current covid safe systems.... We are continually reviewing all guidelines and we will update our website of any relevant changes that occur during the weeks ahead", announced Anglian Water Fisheries on Facebook.

Meanwhile, Ifor Jones, at Warwickshire's Draycote Water and Leicestershire's Thornton reservoir has returned to his previous post-lockdown regime of boat hire at the fisheries: "Draycote is open for boat and bank fishing, the 2020 season will close on November 30, 2020".

Boats will be limited to either full day or morning hire, which "will allow, due to the shorter daylight hours, extra time for staff to fully disinfect boats and prepare the boats for the following day".
New operating guidelines following the Angling Trust's recommendations have been issued at the fisheries which feature: a cut in the boat fleet number; pre-booking only; face-masks, hand-sanitising and complete disinfection procedures on the dock; face-coverings to be worn while the boat is moving under power; two anglers sharing a boat must be members of the same household, support bubble or your regular boat partner. Severn Trent toilets are open for angler's use.

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