Environment Agency to invest an additional £230k into fisheries through rod licence card change

Environment Agency takes further steps to modernise rod licencing to increase fishing benefits for anglers

Nearly a quarter of a million pounds will be reinvested into fisheries by 2025 to better fund enforcement work, improve fisheries habitats and create more angling opportunities across the UK, the Environment Agency has announced today, as part of a transitional move to simpler rod licences.  

After 31 May 2024, anglers will have the option to receive a rod licence via email or text, or an A4 letter, and will no longer receive plastic coated rod licence cards with illustrations.

Every penny of the £230,000 saved through reduced costs of printing rod licences will be reinvested into the Environment Agency’s fisheries work. Last year, nearly £21 million of rod licence income was reinvested to help improve England’s fisheries and angling facilities such as creating fish passes, supplying and stocking fish species and improving habitats for fish.

Since 2021, over one million digital licences have been issued to anglers, helping to reduce waste and progress the Environment Agency towards carbon net zero targets.

For the last 15 years, anglers have received rod licence cards with illustrations capturing the UK’s most iconic species such as the Gudgeon and the Perch. Artist David Miller has provided this service to the EA, adding an artistic flair to rod licensing.  

Heidi Stone Environment Agency Fisheries Partnerships Manager said  

"We understand the popularity of the images on our rod licence cards amongst anglers, and want to thank David Miller for his unique and inspirational illustrations over the years. 

"As we look to deliver better value for money for anglers, we are changing our printing arrangements to print our licences in a more cost effective and environmentally friendly way.  

"The money saved from this move will mean even more of our rod licence income can be put back into our fisheries service, protecting and improving fish stocks and habitats, providing new facilities for anglers, and giving more people the opportunity to try fishing."

Anglers who purchase a rod licence after the 31 May will receive the new paper rod licence unless they choose to go digital. Direct Debit customers’ licences are issued before the service change is implemented; therefore, they will receive the same illustrated card as issued in 2023.

Environment Agency