GUIDE TO THE RIVER SOUTH TYNE
(Alston to Slaggyford)
NAME OF RIVER: South Tyne.
WHERE IS IT?: Alston is in the north Pennines, about 10 miles south of Haltwhistle, which is on the A69 Newcastle-Carlisle road.
PUT-INS/ TAKE-OUTS: Put in at Alston, there is a carpark at the tourist railway there (NY717467). This is where the River Nent joins the South Tyne.
Take out at Slaggyford, where a small roadbridge crosses the river (NY681519).
APPROX LENGTH: 5 miles.
TIME NEEDED: Unknown, but if there is enough water it moves along fairly quickly.
ACCESS HASSLES: There is an agreement for the whole Tyne system, it can currently be found on the BCU website here. Whilst being a lot fairer than some of the older-style access agreements, in that there is a summer spate clause, it still deviates from the CE ideal of 365 days access unless there is a sound environmental reason not to paddle.
Pete Button adds (Nov 2002)...'Alston to Slaggy (as Slaggyford is known) is paddled at least every week by local paddlers in the season (Nov-March). It is actually one of the best advanced open boat sections in England.'
WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: Needs to be in flood, or else you scrape your nice new shiny boat (whinge whinge).
Calibrations from 'Dunmail':
Calibrations for FishPal: below 18" will be very bony, 3' is a good level, above 5' expect to be accompanied by bits of tree.
Or converted to the EA gauge: below 60cm will be very bony, 1.1m is a good level, above 1.7m expect to be accompanied by bits of tree.
MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Overhanging trees are often a problem.
GENERAL DESCRIPTION: A nice run for when everything else is underwater. It may only be 2-3, but it is quite continuous and due to the fact that it has to be in spate when you run it, you always get plently of waves to play on. From the car park at Alston you can either get on at the footbridge over the river Nent or walk slightly downstream and get on at the confluence, if the 50 yards of Nent look too shallow. Roughly 500 yards downstream the tourist railway crosses the river on a small stone bridge. Just above this bridge a really nice stopper/wave (depending on level) forms, which is a good playspot.
There is also the South Tyne from Haydon Bridge to Hexham.
Anyway I've been out on the Tyne this morning which is at a lovely level and found the following,
Garrigill ford, this has been dug out and syphons with tons of rocks washed on the ford.
Slaggyford; the left arch and half the right are blocked by two straining tree trucks, this is a real serious hazard rather like a Nealy sketch of a classic strainer.