WHITTLESEY: Four times world champion Bob Nudd and his date with a licence at Decoy Lakes

FOUR times coarse angling world champion Bob Nudd has a date with a licence on Monday- in Whittlesey. Bob will be presented with his new style rod licence by the Environment Agency at Decoy Lakes. Bob, with everyone else buying a rod licence this year, w

FOUR times coarse angling world champion Bob Nudd has a date with a licence on Monday- in Whittlesey.

Bob will be presented with his new style rod licence by the Environment Agency at Decoy Lakes.

Bob, with everyone else buying a rod licence this year, will get a new type of licence which has had a 21st century style makeover.

The Environment Agency is switching to a membership card style licence, replacing the old-fashioned paper version which has seen few style changes since it was introduced in the 1860s.

The credit card sized licences are now water resistant - helpful for anglers - and feature fewer personal details on them, to reduce the risk of identity theft. They also sport a barcode, making it possible to verify licences on the riverbank. The changes will also make the rod licence cheaper to administer, freeing up more licence money for fisheries improvement works.

Mat Crocker, Head of Fisheries at the Environment Agency said: "The new-look rod licence will deliver real benefits to anglers. The system is now cheaper and quicker to administer - which allows us to spend more licence money on habitats improvements and fish stocking, while keeping the increase in rod licence fees to a minimum.

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"Angling is more popular now than ever, and we expect to see even more anglers on the banks in 2009, as people tighten their belts and look for credit crunch-friendly entertainment.