The Social and Community Benefits of Angling: A 3-Year Research Project by Substance, funded by the Big Lottery Fund
This was a major research programme on the social and community benefits of angling that ran from 2009-end 2011. The research was carried out by Substance, a social research co-operative, and was funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

The 'Social and Community Benefits of Angling' research project investigated the roles angling can play for those who participate in it, young people and the communities in which it takes place.

Advisory Group
The Project Advisory Group included: Environment Agency, Angling Trust, Angling Development Boards in England and Scotland, Get Hooked on Fishing, Trout in the Town, The Angling Trades Association, and Dr Liz Oughton, Newcastle University.

Why was the Research Needed?

Millions of people go fishing, but not much is widely known about the activity in terms of the particular benefits individuals, young people and local communities can get from it.

There have been some big claims made about angling - that it has a range of benefits for participants (including health, volunteering, socialisation); that it can help young people in terms of education and social inclusion; and that it can help develop rural communities and local environments.

Yet the evidence base for this work was under-developed and organisations involved, as well as policymakers, needed more research to understand, develop and maximise angling’s profile. Those representing angling needed such information to help ‘make the case’ for public and government support.

The research project worked closely with angling and community organisations and charities, policymakers and anglers to help address gaps in knowledge and provide evidence of angling’s role to help influence changes in policy as well as highlight best practice.

Project Focus
There were 3 core aspects of the project:

  1. Angling Participation researched the wide variety of different practices in angling, how individuals benefit from involvement and what the wider benefits for communities are. Find out more about Angling Participation.
  2. Angling and Young People explored the variety of ways in which angling can be used to benefit young people. It identified best practice and key barriers to young people's participation. Find out more about Angling and Young People.
  3. Angling in Assynt - Angling and Rural Areas investigated the role that angling plays in rural areas, and how benefits for local communities can be increased sustainably. Find out more about Assynt Research.

Research Findings
All the project outputs, including all the reports, theme papers and data visualisations, are freely available on our dedicated Angling Research Resources Website


The documents below give further information on the project: