We believe that as a company we are responsible for achieving the highest standards of environmental practice and for operating in a sustainable manner. The Farlows Group Ltd (which owns both the Sportfish and Farlows brands) has recently received Planet Mark Business Certification, an internationally recognised sustainability certification for business acknowledging continuous progress and encouraging action. Measuring our own carbon footprint has been a critical step in reducing our impact on the planet and society.
As a business which is largely dependent on the external natural environment for its continuing commercial success we understand that we have a duty of care for it and for safeguarding its wellbeing for future generations. We are committed to encouraging our suppliers, customers and all business associates and stakeholders to do the same. Additionally, we are proud to support a number of selected charities in whatever ways we can to help the conservation of our fish and rivers and to encourage a new audience into the sport we love:
Inspiring and helping everyone to protect wild trout and their habitat
WTT is a conservation charity working across the UK and Ireland to help anyone interested in making a better world for our rivers, lakes and their wildlife, including wild trout. Flourishing wild trout populations are a sign of the health of our waterways and the land around them. WTT experts work with landowners, local communities, fishing clubs, rivers trusts and government agencies providing practical advice and hands-on habitat improvement projects. Their team spends over 1000 days a year on or in rivers, using that experience to highlight issues like pollution and abstraction directly with governments and regulators and to support partners in their lobbying and campaigning.
Putting wild salmon first
The wild salmon population is in drastic decline. In the mid 1980s, there were between 8 and 10 million salmon leaping around the Atlantic. That number has now plummeted to between 2 and 3 million, revealing a dramatic population free-fall that shows no signs of levelling out. So much so, that the wild Atlantic salmon could become an endangered species in 10 years’ time, disappearing from our seas and rivers altogether in just 20 or 30 years. This is a warning we simply cannot ignore. The Atlantic Salmon Trust exists solely for the protection of wild salmon and sea trout. Their aim is to create a positive future for these at-risk species; using scientific research to understand their decline, and using the generous donations from their supporters to put evidence-based solutions into practice.
Help protect fish, fishing and the environment
A not for profit organisation, representing anglers, fighting for fish, fishing and the environment. They are recognised by the Government as the National Governing Body for angling in England and partner with Visit Wales and NRW to promote Fishing in Wales. They are a member-based organisation made up of anglers of all disciplines providing a united front to represent, grow and protect the sport. Funds raised not only help protect the waterways we fish in and the fish which live within them, they are also invested in participation initiatives to introduce more people to fishing.
MENTORING CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE THROUGH THE SPORT OF FLY FISHING
The Mayfly Project UK is a charity that uses volunteer mentors to teach kids in foster care how to fly fish and to understand water ecosystems and conservation. Mentees receive one to one mentoring over 5 carefully designed sessions, offering them an opportunity to escape the pressures of the care system, find solace in nature, and develop a love for fly fishing. Well established in the USA, the UK charity launched its first season in 2022, with Sportfish hosting the very first initiative at the Sportfish Game Fishing Centre in Theale. Sportfish also offered the mentees generous discounts on tuition, fishing, and tackle to keep them on their fly fishing journey, and is proud to be a venue for the project again in 2023.
HELPING TO SUPPORT THOSE AFFECTED BY CANCER WITH FLY FISHING
Castaway supports men and women affected by all types of cancer, to improve their physical and mental health through ongoing engagement with fishing and the countryside. Their one-day fishing programme caters for those who have finished treatment and offers an introduction to fishing, and the wellbeing benefits of the countryside, in a fun and supportive environment. Sportfish is proud to host a Castaway event at Sportfish Game Fishing Centre in June this year.
EDUCATING THROUGH ANGLING
Developed in 2007 by world renowned fly fisherman Charles Jardine, who saw the potential for angling to educate and enrich learning, Fishing for Schools takes young people out of the classroom and into the countryside, helping to develop confidence and to learn new skills. Their remit extends to primary and comprehensive schools, special educational needs schools and pupil referral units; offering specialist educational provision to young people who have been permanently excluded from mainstream schools or are at risk of exclusion. They also work with inner city schools where access to the countryside is often limited for pupils. Sportfish is proud to support Fishing for Schools by contributing to their fundraising efforts.