Independent Scottish salmon farm, Loch Duart, has donated over £7,300 through its Salmon Pool fund, to the North Uist and South Uist Angling Clubs to help purchase a brand-new, accessible boat. National charity, The Wheelyboat Trust, in partnership with the Angling Trust, will supply the new boat, giving disabled anglers and boating enthusiasts throughout the Uists the chance to enjoy the stunning waters of the islands.
The Salmon Pool Fund is a partnership between the independent Scottish salmon farm and its feed supplier, Cargill Aqua Nutrition. By providing funding to support projects which benefit communities across Sutherland and the Outer Hebrides, the Salmon Pool has already kickstarted projects to the tune of over £74,500.
The Uists’ new C16 Wheelyboat is one of seven part-funded accessible boats hand-built and fitted out to order by Jim Coulam of boatbuilders Coulam Ltd, thanks to a UK-wide initiative led by The Wheelyboat Trust and the Angling Trust. Primarily used to fish on the island’s lochs for salmon, sea trout and trout, the boat will also be used for pleasure boating and nature watching in this stunning part of north west Scotland. Hydraulic platforms give disabled anglers access to the entire body of water no matter how inaccessible the banks are, or how low the water level is. The boat will also be an important facility for the Uists’ flourishing accessible tourism industry.
Mark Warrington, Managing Director of Loch Duart, said:
‘Working as part of isolated communities across North West Scotland and with many keen anglers within our employment, including myself, we know just how important fishing is to local residents and visitors alike. We are proud that this funding will provide accessibility for all angling enthusiasts on the Uists and will allow for equality of experience for anyone wishing to take part in angling in the spectacular setting provided by the islands.’
Alastair Macleod (North Uist Angling Club), who applied for the funding, said:
‘Angling is an important part of our community and is hugely popular with people of all ages across the Uists, with our clubs bringing together over 100 adults and juniors from the islands and further afield. We are thrilled that with the support of Loch Duart and Cargill Aqua Nutrition, we will be able to welcome many more local residents and new visitors who have not been able to go out fishing before in the Uists.’
The Wheelyboat supplied to the North and South Uist angling clubs is to be named in memory of Elizabeth Macdonald Buchanan, who was a trustee of the Wheelyboat Trust and lived on the island of Eriskay.
Andy Beadsley, Director of The Wheelyboat Trust, said:
‘We’re enormously grateful to Loch Duart for their tremendous generosity in helping bring this project to fruition. As a wheelchair user and angler, I have first-hand experience of how our specially designed roll-on, roll-off wheelchair accessible boats enable disabled people like myself to get on the water and fully participate in angling and other activities. We’ve supplied more than 200 Wheelyboats across the UK for some glorious locations, but few can be as stunning as North and South Uist.’
Loch Duart currently produces 6,000 tonnes of high-quality salmon each year from its farms in Sutherland and the Outer Hebrides and employs 100 people