Disabled anglers can now fish from a platform at Cringle reservoir.
Anglers with disabilities have been able to park close to the reservoir – which is on the slopes of South Barrule – for several years but access to the waterside, especially for wheelchair users, was difficult.
The platform is near the disabled users’ car park and can be accessed via either a low gradient ramp or steps with hand-rails.
Part-funded by Troutlodge, the company that supplies rainbow trout to the Island’s reservoirs, the platform incorporates recommendations of the British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA) and is already proving popular with anglers of all abilities.
It is to feature as an example of good design in the BDAA’s new guide to accessible angling, which will be circulated throughout the British Isles.
Terry Moseley, President of the BDAA, said: ‘This is a tremendous opportunity for disabled people on the Isle of Man and tourists to access some of the finest game fishing.
‘The charity has identified that there is a British Isles-wide shortage of quality access and facilities for disabled people to participate in one of the most popular of outdoor activities for disabled people. The accessible angling facility built at Cringle reservoir will go a good way to improving this, offering clubs and fishery owners a template of best practice to help them also improve their own facilities as a result.’
Richard Ronan MHK, Minister for Environment, Food and Agriculture, said: ‘Promoting the active enjoyment of the Island’s amenities is a key aim of my Department. Reservoirs can, by their nature, be difficult for disabled users to access but this welcome development will ensure everyone can enjoy fishing at the Cringle reservoir.
‘All licensed anglers are welcome to use the platform but I’d urge them to give priority to those who need it most. I’d like to thank Manx Utilities for giving permission for the platform to be built and for their help and cooperation during its construction.’
The reservoir fishing season lasts from March 20 to January 31. A full-price adult licence for the season costs £206 and entitles holders to a bag limit of four trout per day from March to October (two per day from November to January).
Anglers aged 65 and over or registered as disabled can purchase a season licence with a bag limit of two trout per day throughout the season at the reduced price of £145. Day and week licences are also available. More information on freshwater fishing can be found on the Government website www.gov.im/defa and a copy of the Isle of Man Angling Guide can also be requested from the Fisheries Directorate of the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture on 685857.
DEFA is exploring options for further improvements to reservoir access for anglers with mobility issues and would welcome enquiries from potential sponsors.
Anglers who are registered as disabled can obtain a key to the disabled users’ car park at Cringle reservoir from Manx Utilities at the Isle of Man Business Park, Braddan, tel. 687687.