The Angling Trust signed up a record 160 new members at the UK's biggest tackle show last weekend - 'The Big One' at Farnborough Airfield, Surrey. Angling Trust staff and volunteers also collected hundreds of signatures on the Avon Roach project's petition to get cormorants added to the general shooting licence to make it easier for angling clubs and fishery managers to protect threatened fish stocks.
Celebrities on the stall included England Team Manager Dick Clegg, Sky TV's Keith Arthur, World Champion Will Raison and River Monsters star Jeremy Wade. On Saturday newly appointed Angling Trust National Campaigns Co-ordinator Martin Salter worked on the stall in between his engagements in the Lecture Theatre.
The show's organisers, Vince Davies and Colin Rumney put on the huge event in an amazing fully carpeted 12,000 square metre of space featuring top class fishing gear, theatre seminars and celebrity hot tips.
Martin Salter says:
"This year's Big One was a huge success and it's hard to believe we are in the middle of a recession. We signed up a record number of new members for a single weekend and we are immensely grateful to both Vince and Colin for giving us the opportunity to promote our work on behalf of anglers at the UK's premier tackle show. Our message to anglers was clear - the Angling Trust is YOUR voice in the corridors of power, come and join us and make us even more effective and let us know what you think we should be fighting for in the future."
Angling Trust Membership Manager Will Smith says:
"Membership numbers have grown steadily in all categories for the past 9 months and this year we have been inundated with renewals and new applications from individuals, clubs and commercial fisheries. We are really grateful to all the staff and volunteers who gave up their time to help out on the stand. I'd love to hear from any Angling Trust members who would like to volunteer at other shows we will be attending in 2012."
Year on year efforts are made to improve the show and this year anglers were introduced to new holiday companies from as far afield as Thailand, Kenya, France, Spain, Ireland and Argentina as well as meeting some of the countries' leading bait manufacturers and leading discount wholesalers and retailers.