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English reservoirs remain open as Lockdown kicks in

English reservoir fisheries are still open for business during the new lockdown period, which started in England today. Anglers are fortunate that angling is deemed a 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”."However", warns the Angling Trust, "the new rules are more complicated than we had hoped and anglers should be fully aware of what we can and can’t do in the next 28 days".

Fisheries are not on the published list of businesses that the government has ordered to close and, says the Trust, "there is no reason that they should do so, providing that they operate in accordance with the rules".
As from today, Wimbleball fishery in Somerset has stated: "Wimbleball will remain open to anglers as long as we are permitted to do so, but while the small print continues to be examined please be responsible anglers. Fish safely, locally and respect the ‘rule of two’ during lockdown.
"The regulations are clear and you can only leave home to fish with members of your own household, your support bubble, or with one other individual".

Anglian Water's fisheries, which include Rutland Water and Grafham – also stay open, "from Thursday November 5, we can confirm that our parks will be remaining open for access to the tracks, play parks and nature reserves we will be providing takeaway services from our cafes.
"We can confirm that fishing will continue at our parks in line with the updated Angling Trust guidelines. We will continue to review all activities in line with the Government guidelines and will continue to update our website of any relevant changes. Unfortunately our retail shops will be closed".

Ifor Jones, who runs Warwickshire's Draycote Water and Leicestershire's Thornton Reservoir, said "Severn Trent sites are to remain open allowing us to continue fishing", he added that  both Draycote and Thornton should see their seasons conclude on November 30 without further interruption from both bank and boat. As with the previous lockdown, pre-booking and pre-payment is necessary for all anglers, the lodges and shops will be closed, and the booking in-and-out area will be located outside the lodge with permits and receipts being picked up outside the lodge.

He added:"We must thank the Angling Trust team for all their hard work behind the scenes to ensure our voices are heard in government". He also made a point of highlighting "the excellent attitude shown by anglers during this difficult year".

Travelling, and the distance anyone can travel is a grey area. The government has chosen not to write their travel guidance into law, but guidelines stress “time or exercise outdoors should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel to do so if necessary”.

"Put simply", says the Trust, "you can travel to go fishing but long journeys should be avoided ‘wherever possible’".

The Angling Trust summarises the new guidelines in saying: "This is going to be an extremely difficult period for everybody and as anglers we must recognise that we are fortunate that our chosen form of recreation can continue even though there are restrictions on what we can do. The Angling Trust made the case for fishing based on the health and wellbeing benefits that angling offers coupled with the importance of reducing pressure on other open spaces by allowing us to continue to safely enjoy the social isolation and peace that fishing brings. It is incumbent on us all to continue to act responsibly and to fish safely, fish locally and respect the Rule of Two."

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