Deal allows magnet fishers to enjoy hobby on Falkirk area canals

Magnet fishers across the Falkirk area have been boosted by an agreement that will allow them to enjoy the hobby on the region’s canals.

Monday, 21st December 2020, 12:30 pm

Scottish Canals has reached a deal with Official Magnet Fishing Scotland, the new national body for an activity which has seen a surge in popularity during this year’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Magnet fishing, also called magnetic fishing, is thought to have been started by boaters using magnets to recover fallen keys from the water.

The activity sees participants search in outdoor waters for ferromagnetic objects which can be pulled with a strong neodymium magnet.

Magnet fishers are allowed to use the Forth and Clyde Canal under the new deal. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Until now, magnet fishing has not been allowed on canals to preserve the safety of those who take part and the canals themselves.

Under this agreement, members of Official Magnet Fishing Scotland have signed up to a code of conduct which sets out where they will operate, what they will do if they find an ancient artefact and how they will dispose of any junk that is pulled from the canal.

As part of the deal, the first national magnet fishing information leaflet is currently being drawn up by Police Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and Scottish Canals which sets out safe working practice of the activity, useful contact numbers and an environmental notice amongst other aspects.

Catherine Topley, Scottish Canals chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Official Magnet Fishing Scotland to provide a safe and sought-after destination for their activity to take place.

“Scotland’s canals are there for everyone to enjoy and we are committed to working with responsible groups to create new and exciting opportunities across our network.

“We have been working closely with Official Magnet Fishing Scotland for some time and we are looking forward to welcoming them to the canal network which already attracts over 20 million visits per year from walkers, cyclists, boaters, stand-up paddle boarders, kayakers and commuters.”

Calum Black, chairman of Official Magnet Fishing Scotland, said: “We would like to thank Scottish Canals for their work and consultation with ourselves to make sure this is a success and reflects the aspirations of magnet fishers across Scotland.

“We will be submitting a scheduled monument consent application with the help of Scottish Canals and we hope to be out on the canals as soon as possible.”

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