By EMMA BERTENSHAW emma.bertenshaw@theresidentgroup,com
A new 250 acre private estate is offering lakeside fishing and camping in the foothills near Monchique.
John Campbell, who was formerly a game keeper with experience of estates in Scotland, Wales and England, is looking to develop a slice of an ‘old British country estate’ here in the Algarve.
The estate, near Rasmalho, has been developed from old existing dams and lakes that have been there for approximately 30 years.
There are four lakes of varying size, from three acres up to nine acres, stocked with fish and with a landscaped drive round each perimeter.
Each lake has space for individual camping spots and fishing stands, which will be lined with wood to create a dry, protected foundation.
The lakes currently hold carp in excess of 12kg and large-mouth bass of up to 2.2kg. There are also plans to experiment with other types of fish suited to the climate.
Up at the highest point of the property, a lodge house has been adapted and renovated to accommodate up to 10 guests.
John Campbell has been developing the fishing lakes for three years, undertaking the excavations himself and with help from a team of local builders and landscapers.
His aim is to provide the Algarve’s first private sport fishing venue to rival equivalent spots in France and Spain.
Unlike local barragens (reservoirs) in the Algarve, which are often fished for food, Hideaway Lakes will be used for sport fishing only on a catch-and-release agreement and stocked predominantly with carp.
Specimen carp and large-mouth bass are currently in decline in Portugal and the site is expected to provide important conservation as well as leisure activity.
Visitors will be under the guidance and protection of John and his team for the duration of their stay enabling them to enjoy the tranquillity of the natural surroundings in peace.
It is John’s intention to attract UK sport fishers who can enjoy the scenery all year round because of the agreeable climate in the Algarve.
The area is already a popular location year round for walkers and cyclists.
Sport fishers are welcome to visit and there are plans to create a family area as well with child-friendly facilities. A small outdoor snack bar will also be built to serve food throughout the day.
John is already accepting guests, who can stay for long or short periods and ‘day passes’ will also be available. Day passes cost €20 per person and there will also be gift vouchers available for a unique Christmas present.