River beat up for sale with £85,000 price tag

It is very rare land goes on sale in Northumberland for as little as £85,000, but this particular plot is very special - it has a river running through it.

It is very rare land goes on sale in Northumberland for as little as £85,000, but this particular plot is very special - it has a river running through it.

A stretch of fishing on the River Tyne at Eltringham, near Stocksfield, has just gone on the market after being owned by the same family for more than 100 years.

Estate agents Smiths Gore are handling the sale and yesterday said they believe it is the first fishing beat on the Tyne to go on the market since the 1970s.

The Tyne has improved much as a river for fishing over the last few decades thanks to clean-ups and restocking by the Environment Agency.

The Kielder Reservoir project also releases about 560,000 fry into the river each year and has contributed to a current rod catch of up to 4,000 salmon and sea trout annually, transforming the Tyne into the best in England and Wales.

Philip Scrope, partner at Smiths Gore's Corbridge office, said the stretch was set in a tranquil location, just below the renowned Bywell beat.

He said: "The River Tyne is beyond doubt the most improved fishing river in England. It's a real success story thanks to the Environment Agency and Kielder. There are now more salmon caught in the Tyne than any other three rivers in England or Wales combined.

"Fishing of this calibre is very rarely available and this stretch is one of the most accessible of the entire 90-mile river system.

"To my knowledge, it is the first fishing beat on the Tyne, where the freehold has been available, to go on sale in 30 years.

"This particular stretch had been let to a Newcastle angling club and has been owned by the Humble family at Eltringham for more than a century.

"The lease has now expired and the trustees have decided to sell. We've had a huge amount of interest from both private buyers and clubs.

"I'm guessing it will go to an individual who will buy it with a group of friends, almost like a syndicate, rather than a club.

"Although it is difficult to know whether they are getting a bargain or not. This stretch doesn't have any records, as the fishing club who leased it weren't interested in salmon or trout, so it's a little bit of a guessing game."

The stretch is accessible by a river footpath and retained entry from the adjoining Eltringham Farm.

Tynefishing.co.uk guide Robert Keeney said: "It's quite a bargain for a stretch of the Tyne and it could be very good for coarse fishing.

"But I've heard it probably won't be great for salmon fishing and the Environment Agency won't allow any work to be done to the Tyne to change that.

"That's probably why it hasn't been sold already. It's very unusual for a stretch of fishing on the Tyne to go up for sale and it would usually be snapped up before most people had even heard about it."

Environment Agency fisheries technical specialist Phil Rippon said: "There have been major improvements to the quality of water in the Tyne, and the Environment Agency has built on this success by regularly stocking the river with fish from its Kielder hatchery, and installing fish passes."

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Call to protect peace of region

It has already been heralded as the most tranquil county in England - and now countryside guardians are hoping a map highlighting Northumberland's virtues will help preserve it for years to come.

The Campaign to Protect Rural England commissioned researchers to assess the peacefulness of each region - with Northumberland emerging as a clear winner.

Now the CPRE is using the study to encourage Ministers to preserve those spots revealed as the most calm and peaceful in England.

A special Bill is being presented in the House of Commons on Wednesday urging Ministers to secure tranquil areas for future generations. Northumberland Tourism's marketing manager Barbara Samoilenko said: "The fantastic landscape and tranquillity you can find in Northumberland is one of our key assets."

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