Investigating Countryside and Angling Research (iCARP) was formed in 2018 to continue the work that Dr Mark Wheeler (University of Essex) had been researching for the previous six years. Its purpose is to research the benefits of group outdoor activities in the reduction of mental health symptoms in military veterans and others.

The research studies carried out by iCARP are based on the research Dr Wheeler carried out whilst completing his PhD at the University of Essex. The intervention is based upon the programme he developed for military veterans, Peer Outdoor Exposure Therapy (POET). This combines the elements of peer support, green exercise and exposure to the trauma memory through discussion.

The studies involve taking groups of military veterans, who are struggling with mental health issues, away for stays at a lake to fish. They are supplied with all tackle and bait required and allocated qualified angling coaches. To safeguard the participants mental health and first aid support are in attendance at all times.

The events are held all over the UK and Europe at varying different venues. Most of the events are held at lakes and rivers but we hope to expand into sea angling too in the near future.

The criteria for attending will vary for each individual event. To date we have concentrated on military veterans with PTSD and other mental health problems. We are expecting to diverse into other groups including emergency services and survivors of domestic violence, rape and abuse in the future.

If you are from a mental health service, a military charity a CIC or you are an individual looking to attend yourself please email us on info@icarp.org.uk (or website contact form) and we respond to your enquiry at our earliest convenience.