Statement on Magnet Fishing

Richard Millar, Scottish Canals’ Director of Infrastructure, has issued the following statement on magnet fishing;

“Scotland’s canal network is a 200-year-old working heritage structure. Scottish Canals must ensure that we preserve these historic structures and mitigate any possibilities of damaging them.

In addition to legal aspects we need to ensure the safety of those taking part in magnet fishing and that activity doesn’t not cause any damage to the canal itself. Magnet fishing and the removal of objects from the canals requires Scottish Canals permission and Scheduled Monument Consent from Historic Environment Scotland.

Scottish Canals have now formed an internal working group on magnet fishing. The working group will consist of expert staff from across Scottish Canals who will explore what possibilities there are for safe and legal magnet fishing on Scotland’s canal network. The group will work closely with magnet fishing groups who are promoting responsible action along Scotland’s canals.”





Notes to Editors

For further information, please contact:

Josie Saunders at Scottish Canals on 07881816283 or email

Scott Lamond at Scottish Canals on 07976524446 or email

Scottish Canals’ notes to the editor:

  • Scottish Canals is responsible to the Scottish Government for the management and development of the Forth & Clyde, Union, Monklands, Caledonian and Crinan Canals as well as the surrounding estate and The Falkirk Wheel. See or follow @ScottishCanals for more information
  • Scottish Canals has a diverse portfolio of 4100 assets that include 137 miles of canal, 19 reservoirs, 227 canal embankments and 253 bridges, with a rigorous inspection programme that takes place daily, weekly, monthly and yearly to ensure a clear understanding of the condition of the infrastructure in our care.
  • Scottish Canals Environmental Strategy which sets out how we work towards delivering sustainable benefits can be found here
  • Scottish Canals prioritises works on the canals, as set out in the 2018 Asset Management Strategy, according to the risk each asset poses. This stretch of the Union Canal was not identified as a high-risk asset.
  • Built two hundred years ago to fire the Industrial Revolution, today the canals contribute to the Scottish Government agenda of developing a Greener; Healthier; Smarter; Safer and Stronger; and Wealthier and Fairer Scotland by acting as a catalyst for sustainable economic development, regeneration and tourism


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