FAMILIES are being urged to get out and try fishing on their local waterways during the half term holidays.

Free taster sessions are taking place in Middlewich and Northwich, to share the health and wellbeing benefits of the activity.

Made possible with support from the People’s Postcode Lottery, the Canal and River Trust and Angling Trust are holding special 'Let’s Fish!' events in the coming weeks.

They include two sessions on the Shropshire Union Canal in Tetton Lane, Middlewich, and a session at the Anderton Boat Lift, Northwich.

It’s part of a series of events the organisations are running at locations up and down the country – with almost 300 sessions having already taken place this year.

Details of the Cheshire sessions are:

  • Saturday, October 26, 10am to 4.30pm – Middlewich Branch of Shropshire Union Canal, Tetton Lane, Middlewich, CW10 0HH
  • Monday, October 28, 10am to 4pm – Shropshire Union Canal, Marsh Lane, Nantwich, CW5 5LD
  • Tuesday, October 29, 10am to 4.30pm – Shropshire Union Canal, Eggbridge Lane, Waverton, Chester, CH3 7PE
  • Wednesday, October 30, 10am to 4.30pm – Anderton Boat Lift, Anderton Boat Lift Lane, Northwich, CW9 6FW
  • Thursday, October 31, 10am to 4.30pm – Middlewich Branch of Shropshire Union Canal, Tetton Lane, Middlewich, CW10 0HH
  • Sunday, November 3, 10am to 4.30pm – Shropshire Union Canal, Pool Hill Road Henhull, Nantwich, CW5 6AH

The sessions encourage people to get outdoors and experience the peaceful family time offered by fishing.

Visitors to the events are taught the basics of fishing by a professional angling coach and get the opportunity to learn about the huge variety of fish found in canals and rivers.

All tackle and bait as well as a rod licence and fishing permit is provided for free on the day meaning people can just turn up and have a go. Booking is available at canalrivertrust.org.uk/lets-fish

John Ellis, national fisheries and angling manager for the Canal and River Trust, said: “Research tells us that just spending time by the water is good for our health and wellbeing but fishing is particularly good at helping us to feel happier and healthier.

“We want more people to feel those benefits for themselves and, thanks to the support of players of People’s Postcode Lottery, we’ve held almost 300 Let’s Fish! events across the country this year.

"These events have given around 8,500 people the chance to have a go at fishing – many for the first time – and to experience the health and wellbeing benefits of being by water.

“The events coming up over half-term in Cheshire are a great opportunity to enjoy some quality family time and give the kids a chance to catch their very first fish.

"It’s a great way for people to discover the amazing waterways that are right on their doorstep and available for everybody to enjoy.”

The Canal and River Trust’s waterways are home to millions of fish including around 40 different species. The charity is the single largest owner of coarse fishing rights in England and Wales with over 2,000 miles of waterways and over 70 feeder reservoirs. It is estimated that it would cost £40 million to replace all the Trust’s fish stock.