We announced yesterday that we had worked with Sport England and DCMS to amend the government guidance to remove the anticipated requirement to return home each night after sporting activity.
This was backed up by a powerful ministerial statement specifically referring to fishing and containing the key phrase “for any length of time”. This therefore currently permits fishing at night.
Some have confused yesterday’s DEFRA guidance on ‘Accessing Green Spaces Safely’ as an indication that we cannot fish at night. For reassurance and clarity we have consulted lawyers today and can confirm this is not currently the case.
They state: “The DEFRA document could be clearer and ought to be clarified, but properly read is about staying on after your activity, not about when you may pursue it.”
This is because the relevant section of this document, which was amended after publication, refers to holiday and second homes and not sporting activities. This is where the confusion arises. We have asked Sport England to seek its amendment so that it is clearly in line with DCMS and the Ministerial statement in support of angling.
We have produced a downloadable document for anglers and fishery owners to assist if questioned on the current legal basis for night fishing.
Remember – we are working harder than anyone to keep you fishing safely. Please remember that if we don’t adhere to guidance our right to fish could be removed so enjoy your fishing responsibly and, above all, stay safe!