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Home / Sporting Events / Fishing / Police turn up to stop people fishing amid confusion over lockdown rules

Police turn up to stop people fishing amid confusion over lockdown rules

A group of people were turned away by police while fishing in west Wales.

Seven individuals were ordered to leave Cledlyn Lake Fishery in Ceredigion on Friday after officers noticed a handful of cars parked up.

Officers ran checks to see if the people were local, before instructing them to leave the fishery.

It follows on from Mark Collins, the Chief Constable of Dyfed Powys Police, saying on BBC Radio Wales on Thursday that you could not drive to go fishing.

“My understanding is that angling comes under the umbrella of exercise so exercising in Wales is permitted as many times a day as you wish to but it is from your house and back to your house and doesn’t include driving,” he said.

“So the first point is you wouldn’t be able to drive.”

Despite that, there has been plenty of confusion over driving regulations for angling.

Advice from Angling Cymru initially said you could drive locally, before being amended on Friday to fall into line with guidelines set out by the Welsh Government and National Resource Wales.

Those guidelines now state only disabled people can drive to go fishing.

Gemma Phillips, one of the people told to leave, said: “I had just got there and took my equipment around to set it all up and the police van came around, as it had seen the five vehicles parked.

“They then started to check where everyone lived. I knew I was totally local and lived just over a mile away so I should have no problem.

“However, we were all asked to leave within 30 minutes. They then waited until we’d all gone.

“Despite how local I live, it’s just not feasible for me to walk all my equipment there.”

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The Welsh Government guidelines on drving to do exercise have been deemed open to interpretation by many.

Under a heading of “Can I drive to do exercise?”, they state: “In general, exercise should not involve people driving away from home to exercise. No journeys outside your local area should be taken to exercise in the countryside, at the coast or at other beauty spots, for example – many beauty spots have been closed to prevent people gathering.”

However, elsewhere they say: “The regulations state exercise should be done locally, which means people cannot drive to exercise outside their local area.”

Some people interpret this to mean they can drive to exercise as long as it is within their local area.

The Welsh Government have previously said “people should not travel a significant distance from their home to exercise” – but there is no set rule or guidance on what “a significant distance” refers to.

The Welsh Government’s website also stated: “People are asked to exercise good judgement and common sense.”

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