Over the last 20 years opportunities to participate in a broad variety of recreational activities have increased due to a number of factors. Sport and recreational governing bodies market the benefits of their activity and ease entry into their particular sport or pastime. Nearly every activity now has full or part time professional development officers driving and promoting the benefits of their activity.

Despite important and successful local initiatives, angling development currently sits about 20 years behind the large sports of football and rugby and on a sliding scale, behind nearly every other minority sport. Even where good local initiatives are taking place, what is missing is the provision of support for these initiatives through a national development programme. Factors such as geography; demographics; available financial resources; human resources; current local initiatives and available facilities mean that a one-size-fits-all local delivery programme to grow angling participation will be almost impossible to develop. A national strategy can, however, be created to support local grassroots development.

Fisheries Management Scotland, in partnership with Countryside Learning Scotland, are working to develop a national strategy, underpinned by a series of local plans, which would allow Fisheries Management Scotland members to operate within a common framework. We are grateful to Marine Scotland for funding the first year of this project.


To create a national angling growth and development template to be delivered through the Fishery Management Scotland, District Salmon Fishery board and Fishery Trust infrastructure.


Create a national structure that will provide the opportunity for all demographics, particularly young people from all backgrounds and abilities, to get involved in the sport of angling and all the benefits it offers. The programme will be delivered locally through the DSFBs and Fisheries Trusts from a national development template including volunteer training, event organisation and the creation of angling partner clusters.

Strategic Objectives

  • Create and sustain a trained volunteer base to support the delivery of the programme locally.
  • Provide support to participating DSFBs and Fisheries Trusts on setting up, delivering and funding a sustainable, realistic local development structure suitable for their resources, geography, demographics etc.
  • Build a communication structure between FIsheries Management Scotland, the DSFBs, Fisheries Trusts and external partners on a regular basis to share good and highlight bad practice and ensure working within the national development plan.
  • Ensure the plan is promoted locally and nationally.

Local Delivery Objectives

  • Create a local delivery plan considering the areas resources – geography, demographics, suitable facilities, local funding, suitable partners and number of volunteers.
  • Create and sustain a network of trained volunteers through the Countryside Learning Scotland Rural Volunteer Award (RVA) Course.
  • Begin the delivery of the development plan.

National Delivery Objectives

  • Set up a structure of national meetings to ensure continuity and sharing of good practice.
  • Promote the new programme to the relevant media and authorities.