New Fisheries Signs + Close Season from Dusk on Thursday

March 12, 2019

Start of Fisheries Close Season
At the annual Parish meeting, this evening, we were told that new signs have been put up in the last year round the Abingdon Fisheries.

Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council issues permits to fish the rivers in Abingdon from 16th June to 14th March each year. The season ends at dusk on 14th March and commences at dawn on 16th June. The close season is there to reduce the risk to fish while they are spawning. The Abingdon-on-Thames fisheries web page has more details.

The signs show that people should not remove fish from the river at any time. I asked at the meeting what people should do if they see people taking fish from the rivers. The answer was call 101. I was also told that Town Council staff have patrolled the fisheries over the last 2 years. (More news from the Parish Meeting tomorrow.)

Fishing permits are free for Abingdon residents. However everybody over 13 also needs to get a rod license from the Environment Agency. Rod licences for children aged between 13 and 16 are free.

I have been told by some anglers that Abingdon’s medieval fishing rights have been given away cheaply. I have not found the full history yet (you may know more), but the following two stories in the Herald show that these rights have been eroded over time, and the battle ended in 2007.

Until 2007, Abingdon was unique in controlling its own rivers and anglers only needed a resident’s licence. Then the Environment Agency ordered that town anglers must have a rod licence, and, according to the Herald, the Town Council did not find legal grounds to appeal against that decision. (Abingdon Herald 28/6/2007)

Before 2007, Abingdon Town Council had negotiated with the National Rivers Authority to buy a general rod licence to cover people who had a resident’s licence. (Abingdon Herald 4/6/1992).

Filed under: wildlife

11 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Janet  |  March 13, 2019 at 9:36 am

    On another subject. I have just read in the Abingdon Herald that a Hotel Group want to take over the Upper Reaches Hotel but they want to build 10 houses on the site. It does not look a big enough site to built 10 houses on.. If so where are the residents going to park their cars?

  • 2. Hester  |  March 13, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Janet, the article is a little confusing, but if you read it carefully, the proposal for 10 houses was the one made by the previous leaseholders, the Patel family trading as Contemporary Hotels. The problem was that their lease only allowed 6 and it looks as if the Vale refused to agree to change that.There is no mention in the article of the number of houses proposed by the new company.

  • 3. Trevor  |  March 13, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Anyone know the boundaries of this fisherie?
    I’ve clicked on the link & no information there.
    Also, does it cover both sides of the river.

  • 4. Horsesmouth  |  March 13, 2019 at 10:53 am

    Trevor, there is a post/pole in the ground opposite the marina entrance which marks the downstream boundary of the TC fishing scheme, staying on that side of the river it continues all the way to Black Bridge and I think apart from privately owned properties it’s much the same in the other side too?
    Janet. Once more we’ve not been told the whole truth here!
    I’m looking at a copy of the land registry title for “ the Upper Reaches restaurant, including land known as Abbey Mill”
    It clearly states it was sold by the Vale to contemporary hotels for the sum of £1,499,998 in 2004 on 17th if March 2004! So as I understand it the Vale sold the hotel including the historic parts to the hotel company operated by the “Paul” family (not Patel) some 15 years ago and since then have been spoofing us about not being able to do anything with the site because of a lease that doesn’t exist! Reading on the parts the Vale still own and lease to Contemporary hotels is the car park and the river front including mooring,
    They knew their property would be worth considerably more if they could get planning on it so they deliberately shut the place down and let it fall into a state of dereliction in the hope it would be such an eyesore planning would be easier to obtain, not that I’m against building there, but I can see an Old Gaol mk 11 looming where planning will be obtained – “ a builder” will acquire the plot, build on it, not pay the full amount and once that’s done the hotel will be boarded up again!

  • 5. Su  |  March 13, 2019 at 6:50 pm

    Horse mouth, please confirm that the title is ‘freehold’ and not ‘leasehold’.

  • 6. horsesmouth  |  March 14, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Su, firstly may I say i’m not adverse to development of the site, far from it, as long as its done in an honest, transparent and fair manner, which, sadly if the Old Gaol debarkle is anything to go by may well not be the case?

    This is an extract of the Land Registry title document, this part (the title deed) goes on to state title was granted to Contemporary Hotels in March of 2004 for almost £1.5 million

    Title Number : BK103989
    Address of Property : Upper Reaches Restaurant, Thames Street, including the land adjoining known as Abbey Mill, Thames Street, Abingdon
    Price Stated : £1,449,998
    Registered Owner(s) : CONTEMPORARY HOTELS LIMITED (Co. Regn. No. 04814760) of 103 Baker Street, London W1U 6LN.
    1 of 4
    This is a copy of the register of the title number set out immediately below
    A: Property Register
    This register describes the land and estate comprised in the title. Except as mentioned below, the title includes any legal easements granted by the registered lease but is subject to any rights that it reserves, so far as those easements and rights exist and benefit or affect the registered land.
    1 (03.08.1971) The Leasehold land shown edged with red on the plan of the above Title filed at the Registry and being Upper Reaches Restaurant, Thames Street, including the land adjoining known as Abbey Mill, Thames Street, Abingdon.
    NOTE 1: As to the part tinted blue on the filed plan only the bridge is included in the title.
    NOTE 2: The right to moor boats in the River Thames and the Mill Stream expressed to be granted by the lease is not included in this registration”.

    Su, note C.H are listed as being Registered Owners of the hotel and mill buildings/land, it does go on to say that excluded from the title deeds were/are the car park and other parcels which are still owned by the Vale, but leased to C.H.
    Of course if i’m wrong then I unreservedly withdraw my suggestion that we, the public, have consistently been misinformed by council as to who owns what?
    That said why don’t you register (for free) with the Land Registry, once done you can pay £3.5 and download a copy of anyone’s deeds, including this lot which is particularly interesting as they go back generations, past the time of the old gas Works etc and included Cosenors House too,
    Sadly though when in the 1970’s the old Borough of Abingdon was abolished all of its assets were transferred to the then newly created VWHDC, that included things like the Old Abbey House, its gardens and Meadows, the Charter, Precinct, Multi Story car park, Guild hall and of course the Old Gaol

  • 7. Su  |  March 14, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    Horse mouth. The title referred to is Leasehold not Freehold. If you go back onto the Land Registry site you will see that the freehold is registered to VWHDC.

  • 8. Horsesmouth  |  March 14, 2019 at 8:31 pm

    It states the title is with contemporary hotels, indeed a statement issued by the Vale recently also confirms that too ?

  • 9. horsesmouth  |  March 15, 2019 at 11:03 am

    Su, i’m merely quoting what it says on the L R site regarding this title/ownership :-

    “B: Proprietorship Register
    This register specifies the class of title and identifies the owner. It contains any entries that affect the right of disposal.
    Title absolute
    1 (31.03.2004) PROPRIETOR: CONTEMPORARY HOTELS LIMITED (Co. Regn. No. 04814760) of 103 Baker Street, London W1U 6LN.
    Title number BK103989
    2 of 4
    B: Proprietorship Register continued
    2 (31.03.2004) The price stated to have been paid on 17 March 2004 was £1,449,998.
    3 (31.03.2004) The Transfer to the proprietor contains a covenant to observe and perform the covenants referred to in the Charges Register

    Su, as I read the various paragraphs re that parcel of land I agree the car park and other “parcels” are owned by the vale and leased to C,.H but as this title document clearly states C.H obtained the title to the hotel and mill back in 2004, I say again i’m only quoting what it say at the LR, but I stand corrected if i’m wrong and if I am why did C.H pay the Vale £1.4 million pound for?

  • 10. Su  |  March 15, 2019 at 6:13 pm

    Not wishing to prolong this, but looking at A: Property Register, then item 1, does it say Freehold or Leasehold?
    If it says leasehold then you need to check the Freehold title or even obtain a copy of the lease that both titles will refer to. You could always contact the VWHDC to check ownership.
    Have a good weekend.

  • 11. Rezzy Dent  |  March 17, 2019 at 1:48 pm

    Horsesmouth and Su, It’s a bit difficult to tell from the extracts here, but it it looks to me as if the title BK 103989 is the leasehold, which seems to have been originally granted in 1971. There should be a separate title for the freehold, I think. I suspect that the payment of c. £1.44 M in 2004 may have been the lease being sold on by one leaseholder to another leaseholder (i.e. to C.H.). The reference to covenants suggest to me that covenants in the original lease were transferred onto the new leaseholder (as they should be!).

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