THE Royal Naval Air Station in Yeovilton has started courses to teach medically downgraded personnel how to fish.

RNAS Yeovilton's  HMS Heron Angling club ran the course which took place last week at HMS Heron's Lake, in Somerset.

It was set up in partnership with the Royal Navy Recovery and Resilience Margins Headquarters to give fishing classes to individuals from various Naval Recovery Units and wider military establishments. 

Petty Officer Adam Chamberlain, who runs HMS Heron Angling club, said: "It’s not commonly known but there is a large amount of research over the years for using angling as a method for recovery.

"Angling promotes serenity in a relaxing and peaceful environment - so much so that the NHS are now backing new projects and teaming up with the Environment Agency and the Angling Trust to provide classes to assist recovery.

"Angling has been proven to improve anxiety and depression as well as well-being and mental health."

Read more: Princess of Wales visits RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset

PO Matt Lawton, who is currently medically downgraded, is the lead instructor of the course - he alongside PO Nathan Dennis, ensures the course is suitable for anyone to attend, and that it's fun for all involved. 

Medically downgraded Able Rating Josh Jones, from HMS Drake, said: "It’s been a really good week.

"It is really important the Navy can offer courses like this. 

"It helps you still feel part of the military.

"When downgraded it is easy sometimes to drift away, all your mates are on deployment and the people you usually work with, you don’t see.

"It gives you a chance to get around other military people, escape the house and have a reset."

Due to the immense positive feedback and clear impact on mental wellbeing, HMS Heron Angling Club will continue to host the fishing courses at RNAS Yeovilton for the foreseeable future.