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The Wheelyboat Trust

December 8 2008

The specially designed Wheelyboat provides disabled people with hassle-free and independent access to inland waters large and small all over the UK.

Whether it's for the scenery or wildlife, sport or recreation, reservoirs, lakes, ponds and rivers are a magnet to millions of visitors throughout the year. However, by their very nature, access on and around them for wheelchair users and others with limited mobility is very much restricted.

Wheelyboats overcome all the difficulties - they are simplicity itself to board, make the entire water accessible and the level deck provides access throughout thus giving the users the dignity of their own independence.

The Wheelyboat's design is very straightforward. Its principal feature is a hinged bow which, when lowered, forms a ramp making the boat very easy to board. Its shallow draught means it can be driven ashore for boarding and disembarking directly from the bank or a slipway. The flat deck ensures its disabled users can reach all corners of the boat and gives them the opportunity of using the boat independently without relying on help from others.

The Wheelyboat Trust is a registered charity dedicated to providing disabled people, young and old, with the opportunity and freedom to enjoy waters large and small all over the UK. Since the Trust began in 1985 it has supplied more than 100 specially designed Wheelyboats to fisheries, water parks and other aquatic venues, opening up many thousands of acres of water to disabled visitors that would otherwise have remained out of bounds. The Trust's vision is straightforward - open access for disabled people on waters everywhere via a range of Wheelyboat models to meet everybody's needs.

The standard Wheelyboat accommodates up to four people but the 'stretch' Mk II on Roadford Lake can take up to ten. In 2006 the Trust will produce the next generation of Wheelyboats, the Mk III models. These will have a much wider remit than either of their predecessors and will provide even more disabled people with access to waterborne activities across a greater variety of waters all over the UK.

The Wheelyboat Trust works closely with the Environment Agency and South West Lakes Trust to improve angling and boating opportunities for disabled people in the region. In 2006 a new Mk III Wheelyboat will be provided to Siblyback Reservoir in Cornwall. A new Mk III at Wessex Water's Clatworthy Reservoir is also planned for 2006. To celebrate Chew Lake's 50th anniversary, Bristol Water is funding a new Wheelyboat with the official launch booked for April 17th.

Two new Wheelyboats arrived in the region in 2005. The first 20' model built went to Roadford Lake where it is primarily available for pleasure boating and nature watching. Funding for the project was generously provided by the Environment Agency, Hedley Foundation, and Lloyds TSB Foundation. Wimbleball Reservoir's new Wheelyboat mainly provides access to the fishery's excellent trout fishing but is also available for pleasure boating and nature watching. Funding was generously provided by the Percy Bilton Charity, CHK Charities Ltd and the Norman Family Charitable Trust.

For more information about the work of the Trust and the Wheelyboat (including a full UK locations list), visit the website or contact the Director. The Wheelyboat Trust is a registered charity and relies upon the generosity of charitable organisations, companies and individuals to enable it to continue providing this important service on behalf of disabled people. A Gift Aid form is available for individuals wishing to help.

Wheelyboats are hired like any other angling boat except that fisheries tend to prefer 24 hours notice for a booking.

Wheelyboat venues in the region

Blagdon Lake, Blagdon Trout 01275 332339
Chew Valley Lake, Chew Magna Trout 01275 332339

Siblyback Reservoir, Liskeard Trout, nature watching 01209

Roadford Lake, Okehampton Trout, nature watching 01409 211507
Wistlandpound Reservoir Barnstaple Trout 01598 763221

Bushyleaze Trout Fishery, Lechlade Trout 01367 253266

Clatworthy Reservoir, Taunton Trout 01984 624658
Sutton Bingham Reservoir, Yeovil Trout & coarse 01935 872389
Wimbleball Reservoir, Brompton Regis Trout 01398 371372

Coate Water, Swindon Trout & coarse 01793 522837, 01793 433165

Reg charity 292216
Andy Beadsley, Director
North Lodge, Burton Park, Petworth, West Sussex, GU28 0JT,
Tel/fax 01798 342222, e-mail [email protected]