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Wheelchair fishing boat launched at Farmoor

Second wheelchair fishing boat launched at Farmoor Reservoir

Monday 27th July 2020 14:24

Wheelyboat Trust director Andy Beadsley at Farmoor Reservoir

Wheelyboat Trust director Andy Beadsley tries out the new boat

Farmoor Reservoir in Oxford has taken delivery of a second specially-designed boat that allows people in wheelchairs to fish on the open water.

The new ‘Wheelyboat’ is a joint venture between Thames Water, Sussex charity The Wheelyboat Trust and the Angling Trust.

Farmoor Reservoir is the largest single area of open water in Oxfordshire and is stocked with 25,000 trout each year.

The Wheelyboat features:

  • A hydraulic platform built into the floor for step-free roll-on, roll-off wheelchair access 
  • A drive-from-wheelchair tiller helm 
  • Space on board for three anglers including two wheelchair users 
  • A design primarily for angling on stillwater, on the drift or at anchor 

Will Barnard, Thames Water fisheries manager, said: "Farmoor is open to everyone, and we're delighted to be working with The Wheelyboat Trust and the Angling Trust so that people who may not have been able to go fishing before can now come and enjoy a day on the water in the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside." 

In 2019 The Wheelyboat Trust and the Angling Trust joined forces and invited fisheries and angling clubs throughout the country to apply for several part-funded Wheelyboats.

The funds for the project were provided by The Peter Harrison Foundation and Lord Barnby’s Charitable Trust.  

Andy Beadsley, director of The Wheelyboat Trust, said: “The launch of Farmoor’s new Wheelyboat is an extremely exciting moment not just for local disabled anglers who’re keen to fish but haven’t yet been able to. We hope the new boat brings joy and many successful fishing ventures to all on board.” 

Martin Salter, head of policy at the Angling Trust added: “Thames Water have a fabulous and well run fishery at Farmoor providing high quality fishing all year round. It’s great to see the partnership with Wheelyboat Trust opening up more angling opportunities at Farmoor to people with disabilities. We are currently experiencing a big spike in the numbers of people going fishing and it’s important that no one is left behind.” 

Farmoor’s first Wheelyboat was launched in 2010.

The Wheelyboat Trust relies on donations from individuals and organisations and their work could not continue without the ongoing generosity they provide.

To donate and help The Trust get more disabled people out on UK waters, or to find out more about, visit www.wheelyboats.org