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GUIDE TO THE RIVER SOUTH TYNE

(Garrigill to Alston)

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 Garrigill (NY745416).

Finish at Alston (NY716468). There is a carpark at the tourist railway there (NY717467). This is where the River Nent joins the South Tyne.

APPROX LENGTH: 6km.

TIME NEEDED: Unknown.

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. Having said this, the river is rarely fished above Alston, so you shouldn't have any hassles whatever the time of year.

For more details speak to one of the Level 5 coaches in Garrigill who currently share the access role, Lindsay Williams or myself Pete Button 01434 381966.

WATER LEVEL INDICATORS: The great thing about the area is the speed of the water, which is almost Alpine, and the speed at which it floods and drops which may be up and down in 4 hrs.

The River Call North East Number is 09066197722. In addition, daily water levels for the Tyne area can be found on the Fish Tyne website here or the EA Gauge at Alston. Additional calibration for the South Tyne would be useful if anyone has further info?

GRADING: 2-3.

MAJOR HAZARDS/ FALLS: Featherstone weir.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION: Garrigill to Alston needs high water (eg flood). Around Garrigill it is grade 3 then drops to about grade 2 for the rest of the trip.

OTHER NOTES: Above Garrigill is also paddled occasionally as are some other local burns, eg Crossgill, Blackburn or the Nent (all of which are awaiting guides please!).

There is also the South Tyne from Alston to Slaggyford and from Haydon Bridge to Hexham.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Pete Button.