Accessible Derbyshire Wheelyboat launched!

20th Oct 2016

Ray of Sunshine 1 Ray of Sunshine 2 Ray of Sunshine 6 Ray of Sunshine 7 Ray of Sunshine 10 Ray of Sunshine 3 Ray of Sunshine 11 Ray of Sunshine 4 Ray of Sunshine 9 Ray of Sunshine 8 Ray of Sunshine 12 Wheelyboat Trust logo

Accessible Derbyshire Wheelyboat launched!

It was the day we had all been waiting for! The day when the new Accessible Derbyshire Wheelbyboat took its maiden voyage on the waters of Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire.

The boat is the result of a joint project between Accessible Derbyshire and Ladybower Fisheries to purchase a boat that makes Ladybower Reservoir acessible for all and  is aptly called the 'Ray of Sunshine' after a gentleman called Ray who loved to fish at Ladybower and who became disabled. Sadly Ray passed away last year but his love of Ladybower provided one of the main sources of inspiration for the fundraising efforts. 

You can watch the video of the boat launch, produced by Accessible Derbyshire cameraman Steve Bullock, below:

The  boat is a Coulam 16 Wheelyboat and is a  popular reservoir fishing boat designed by The Wheelyboat Trust, which supported Accessible Derbyshire and Ladybower Fisheries by raising 50% of the craft’s cost, which is £10,500. Many people have supported the fundraising efforts, including local clubs, friends and anglers of the well-known trout fishery, who have all joined in to support the dream of opening up the water to disabled anglers and providing hassle-free independent access to the reservoir. 

The unique design features of the boat are not immediately obvious, making it a thoroughly enjoyable experience for disabled anglers. Wheelchair users board the Coulam 16 Wheelyboat via a ramp from bank or pontoon onto a hydraulic platform that lowers to deck level. Removable handrails around the platform help keep the angler secure and simplify the boarding and disembarking procedure, which means only one helper is required for assistance.

The new Wheelyboat  can accommodate three adults (of which two are in wheelchairs). Hannah Taylor and Matthew Heyes, who both have Down's syndrome, were the first to experience the unparalleled sense of freedom that comes from being on the water.

Gillian Scotford, co-founder of Accessible Derbyshire says, “We are just approaching the end of our 2-year challenge to make the Peak District National Park the most accessible national park in the UK and the launch is very special to us. We want everyone to be able to enjoy the great outdoors and one of the first things we dreamed about was to buy a Wheelyboat for Ladybower as it is such a beautiful place. To achieve this dream is absolutely fantastic "

Andy Beadsley, Director of The Wheelyboat Trust says, “We are so delighted to see this Wheelyboat launched at the Ladybower Reservoir because we know how much Accessible Derbyshire and Ladybower Fisheries wanted to make this happen. This is the 177th Wheelyboat launch and the XX boat which we helped to fund, making this launch very precious to us. The Wheelyboat Trust aims to have as many Wheelyboats across the UK as possible and allow everyone to take part in water-based activities no matter their age, disabled or not.

Accessible Derbyshire co-founder Jane Carver added that; " We want to say a special 'thank you' to everyone involved. Ladybower fisheries have been fantastic in their support as have Sam Hindley and the Derbyshire Volunteers, Williams and Glyn's Bank in Dronfield and the Grayling Society to name just a few of our fundraisers. This would not have happened without their hard work, kindness and generosity."

The new Coulam 16 Wheelyboat at Ladybower Reservoir will be powered by a  Suzuki outboard, generously provided by Suzuki GB at a charity rate

The Wheelyboat Trust relies on the support of individuals, companies and charitable organisations to fund its activities. Donations can be made in a variety of ways including online at

To find out more about the Wheelyboat included details of how to book it please contact Ladybower Fisheries on: 01433659712 or 07876216199. Alternatively you can email Ladybower Fisheries on







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