Ladybower reservoir launches new Wheelyboat to improve disabled access for angling and leisure trips

Disabled people across Derbyshire can now enjoy easier access to angling, power and pleasure boating on the Ladybower reservoir following the launch of a second specially designed boat which is available to hire.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 2:45 pm
Updated Friday, 25th June 2021, 2:46 pm

The new V17 Wheelyboat joins a specialist Coulam 16 angling craft on the water, thanks to a partnership between national charity the Wheelyboat Trust and Ladybower Fisheries.

Every Wheelyboat has roll-on, roll-off access, an open and level cockpit and their drive-from-wheelchair helms enable anyone in a wheelchair to board easily, move around safely, and drive it too.

Fisheries accessibility coordinator Troy Chadwick said: “Since the launch of our first Wheelyboat in 2016 we have realised that there was a massive demand for people with disabilities who wanted to learn how to fish or continue fishing after a life changing event.

The new Coulam V17 Wheelyboat out on the water at Ladybower reservoir. (Photo: Steve Bullock)

“Boating is one of the very few sports in which able-bodied people and people with seen and unseen disabilities can participate on equal terms, which is something we celebrate at Ladybower.”

He added: “Our new Coulam V17 has been named ‘the Gov’ after our late friend and supporter, the dearly missed Alisdair Duncan from Orvis Bakewell. It will make a fantastic addition to our growing fleet of accessible boats used at Ladybower to make accessible fishing available to everyone.”

The V17 Wheelyboat is the Wheelyboat Trust’s most versatile vessel to date. With a top speed exceeding 30mph, it is ideal for powerboating but also designed for whiling away a few leisurely hours on the water.

Charity director Andy Beadsley said: “Our aim is to encourage anyone with a mobility, learning or sensory impairment to be able to enjoy being out on the water independently, whether that’s to fish or pleasure boat, something that is incredibly difficult for wheelchair users.

“We hope now Covid-19 restrictions are starting to ease that many people can enjoy Ladybower reservoir this summer.”

The purchase of the new boat was made possible by support from West Riding Masonic Charities Ltd, ALA Green Charitable Trust, Evans Property Group, the Duke of Devonshire’s Charitable Trust, the William Dean Trust, the Helen Jean Cope Charity, the Gordon Trust, Mansfield Building Society Community Support Scheme, and individual donors.

To enquire about booking the Wheelyboat and accessible angling tuition courses at Ladybower, call 01433 659712 or 07585 335143, or visit www.ladybowerfisheries.co.uk.

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