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Substance over Style

Young Nathan from Omagh in County Tyrone with his first Brown Trout - a wild urban fish. How do you quantify the enrichment that angling brings to individuals, communities and the environment?

Trout in the Town is looking forward to working with the SUBSTANCE group (a not-for-profit cooperative: in understanding the benefits to society of participation in angling. In addition, such effects as "angling as a gateway to conservation" will also be quantified. All of our Trout in the Town project teams will be issued with the research questionnnaires produced by SUBSTANCE. There are also plans to specifically target very detailed investigations on one or two selected town communities. The overall SUBSTANCE project is outlined below - and it is mainly to research questions 1 and 2 that Trout in the Town will be contributing.
The Social and Community Benefits of Angling
A 3-Year Research Project by Substance,
funded by the Big Lottery Research Fund
Project Details
Substance, a social research cooperative, have won a Big Lottery Research Grant for a project entitled: ‘The Social and Community Benefits of Angling’. The grant will fund a three-year project from January 2009 - January 2012 that will investigate the positive role angling can play for those who participate in it, young people and communities in which it takes place.
What is the Research About?
Although millions of people go fishing, not much is known about the activity in terms of the individual and community benefits it can generate. There have been some big claims made about angling - that it has a range of benefits for participants, from health to volunteering; that it can help young people at risk; and that it can help rural communities. Yet the evidence base for this work is underdeveloped and organisations involved, as well as policymakers, need more research to understand, develop and maximise these benefits. Those representing angling need such information to help ‘make the case’ for public or other support. The project will work closely with angling and community organisations and charities, policymakers and anglers to help address gaps in knowledge about the activity and provide evidence of angling’s positive impacts and best practice to help influence changes in policy.
Research Questions
There are four Research Questions to this project, based on a recognition of the need for a better evidence base of angling’s social and community impacts:
1. What constitutes participation in angling in England and Scotland and how
do people and communities perceive and receive benefits from it?
2. How can angling help young people, particularly those who are
marginalised or socially excluded?
3. What role can angling play in rural communities and their development?
4. How can we disseminate this knowledge, engage stakeholders and
implement change?


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