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Anglers look forward to returning to river banks as coronavirus lockdown in Scotland set to ease from next week

By Val Sweeney

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Charlie Whelan, ambassador for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association Fishing Group.
Charlie Whelan, ambassador for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association Fishing Group.

Anglers have welcomed the Scottish Government announcement that fishing will be among the outdoor activities allowed under the first stage of the easing of coronavirus restrictions.

Charlie Whelan, angler and ambassador for the Scottish Gamekeepers Association Fishing Group, said many people would benefit physically and mentally from getting back on the river banks again.

"This is a welcome announcement by Nicola Sturgeon," he said.

"Many anglers have been looking on enviously at images of people on the banks in England and Wales and, although the spring season has been lost and some may feel they could have returned sooner, the fishing community has been wholly respectful of the virus, the government’s advice and the wellbeing of local communities.

“Fisheries should now take the time to ensure local angling can be participated in safely on their waters.

"Many people will benefit from getting back on the banks again, both physically and mentally, and it will help to maintain the interest of young people which is vital for the future of the activity in this country.

“This is also an initial but tentative step forward for the wider country sports industry which is facing great uncertainty.

"However, with support and co-operation from Scottish Government, the sector could be pivotal in driving economic recovery in some of Scotland’s remotest places, when it is deemed safe to do so. "Country sports, including angling, generate around £315 million a year for the economy and sustain thousands of jobs in areas which, analysis suggests, will be disproportionately impacted by coronavirus trading restrictions."

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