TV personality Harry Clark takes friends fishing to de-stress and unwind in new campaign

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Clark appears in the latest Environment Agency campaign to highlight how fishing can help to reduce stress and improve wellbeing, encouraging people to get back into angling and buy a rod licence. New research indicates that 99% of anglers recommend fishing as a way of easing stress, and 92% of anglers see fishing as one of the most effective ways of relieving stress.

This Stress Awareness Month (April), recent gameshow winner and TV personality, Harry Clark, has teamed up with the Environment Agency to share how fishing helps to alleviate his daily stresses, benefits his mental health and allows him to spend quality time with loved ones after his recent rise to fame.

The benefits of fishing are reflected in new research from the Angling Trust. 99% of anglers agree that fishing boosts mental health and wellbeing and would recommend it to others as a way of easing stress. 9 in 10 anglers (92%) agree that fishing is one of the most effective ways of relieving stress when compared to other activities such as walking (42%), exercising (23%), and even talking with friends and family (31%).

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The survey of over 4,000 British anglers further highlights the benefits fishing brings to maintaining key relationships, with 69% agreeing that fishing is a great opportunity to spend quality time bonding with friends and family, and although a large portion actually go fishing on their own (40%), a similarly large number of anglers do go along with friends (44%).

Harry Clark fishingHarry Clark fishing
Harry Clark fishing

After experiencing a sudden rise to fame and an intense recent few months of being in the spotlight, Clark stars in a short film (view here) where he decompresses and enjoys time fishing at Willinghurst Fisheries in Surrey, with childhood friend and fishing buddy Harry Browne, as well as Ben Harragan, the founder of non-profit angling association The Angling and Mental Health Initiative (AMHI).

TV personality, Harry Clark commented: “My family have been into fishing since I can remember. I love it because it gives me the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors in peace and quiet and de-stress. It’s a time where I can relax and think about nothing for a bit.

It’s also a place where I feel comfortable opening up about my feelings with friends – I think it’s the calming atmosphere! Everyone deals with their mental health in different ways, but you don’t realise how much fishing can help relax you from everyday stresses until you’re doing it.

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It was great to be on the shoot with the Environment Agency and do some fishing with my mate Harry - it’s something we love doing together and gives us an opportunity to get away from it all and catch up.

Hearing Ben’s story and how he set up the Angling and Mental Health Initiative was really inspiring too. I didn’t realise that rod licence money not only goes back into the sport by maintaining fish stocks and protecting the environment, but it also supports brilliant initiatives like his that help so many people who are dealing with mental health challenges.”

Ben Harragan, founder of the Angling and Mental Health Initiative added: “I was thrilled to be asked to take part in the Environment Agency’s latest campaign alongside Harry and Harry. Fishing is a great opportunity to connect with others, be in nature and calm the mind - it's something that everyone of all ages can enjoy and take part in.

I fished with my family when I was a young lad, then fell in love with it again later in life after experiencing some personal struggles with my mental health. I found solace in fishing and now I’m proud to be helping many others do the same via our Initiative.

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Buying a rod licence enables the Environment Agency to financially support organisations like mine that can be a vital support to people suffering from mental health challenges. It’s never been easier to get one. You can it buy online and keep it on your phone, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting it at home.”

Heidi Stone, Environment Agency Fisheries Partnerships Manager said: “Stress Awareness Month is a great opportunity to remind the public of the benefits that fishing can bring to mental health and wellbeing.

With fishing being a big part of Harry’s life, we’re really pleased to have him support our campaign, and highlight how fishing helps him to get outdoors, relieve stress and bond with friends.

Through licence income, we are able to help fund wellbeing initiatives, such as the AMHI, which brings the relaxing benefits of fishing to people seeking an outlet for life’s stresses.”

To find out more information on when you need a fishing licence, and how to buy one, visit:

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