Power boat skills needed for return of Paxton trips

River Tweed boat trips are starting from Berwick to Paxton house.

River Tweed boat trips are starting from Berwick to Paxton house.

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The search is on for people with powerboat experience as boat trips are set to return to the Tweed at Paxton.

The attraction has been on offer since July 2014, with boats leaving from the mooring adjacent to the Paxton salmon netting station where passengers can observe the netting crew in action ‘bagging and tagging’ sea trout and salmon for scientific research.

The journey lasts about an hour, heading west, upriver under the famous Union Chain Bridge to Horncliffe and the ‘Black Hole’.

The volunteer ‘skippers’ give a running commentary on the local area history, the Chain Bridge and the salmon fishing industry. Most trips see a wide variety of birdlife including buzzards, heron and the occasional kingfisher.

The boats run from April to October. Unfortunately the river poses a problem, the tidal nature of the Tweed, as far upriver as Norham, meaning the number of sailings have to be limited to suitable water levels giving a maximum opportunity of three a day.

For several days a month it is impossible due to the higher tides being at night.

The current volunteer helmsmen number just three, Brian and Lesley Hawksfield from Ayton and Kerry Noble from Belford. Brian and wife Lesley are highly experienced offshore sailors who have visited most of the world’s oceans. They crew both boats when required. The Paxton Trust are looking for volunteers to join and help this team. Although the job is purely voluntary, travel expenses are met and the Tea Room makes sure they’re fed and watered!

Anyone with powerboat experience should contact Paxton House events manager, Allison Sutherland on 01289 386906 or allison@paxtonhouse.com.