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End of the line for plastic coated rod licences

The now familiar and attractive plastic-coated licence cards will not be issued to anglers from the end of May next year following a decrease in licence sales over the past few years.

However, licences issued before then will continue to depict the illustration by David Miller.

Popular but expensive

Announcing the ending of the plastic coated licences, the Environment Agency said: “We have seen a decrease in licence sales over the past few years. It is vital we find opportunities to reduce our administration costs so we can continue supporting fisheries and angling. We understand how popular licence cards are, but they are expensive to produce and are not fully biodegradable.

“We’re reinvesting the money saved directly into fisheries and angling. It will be used to improve fisheries habitat, create more angling opportunities and fund more enforcement work helping us to tackle illegal fishing amongst other things.”

Over a million anglers now opt for email or text licences

The Agency added that since 2021, over a million digital licences had been sold to anglers who chose to receive their new licence by email or text message saying they had received very positive feedback on this option.

“When you buy your next licence, consider receiving it by email or text message rather than letter. You won’t receive anything in the post and you’ll get your new digital licence within minutes. To find your digital licence more easily, consider saving it as a favourite in your inbox. If you take a screenshot, be aware that our officers will need to check proof of identity”, it said.

To find out more about where your licence money goes, visit:


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Written by Peter Cliff
With career in Public Relations and journalism, Peter worked for local, regional and national newspapers before moving into Public Relations. A regular contributor to several major angling publications over the years, he launched in 1999.


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