A MAN who loved Teesdale after he spent his childhood in the area decided to leave a £5,000 legacy to help protect the area.

Thomas Raine, of Eggleston, near Barnard Castle, left the money to the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE).

The Durham branch of the CPRE has allocated some of the funding to support an RSPB scheme in the Baldersdale and Lunedale area of Teesdale.

The scheme will allow the RSPB to work with farmers to help them to protect the birds and the rare environments on their land.

Michael Raine, his son, said: “I’m not surprised that he left £5,000 to the CPRE in the hope that it would be able to keep Teesdale the way he liked it.

“He used to say that Teesdale was God’s own country and he always had a great love for it.”

Mr Raine, 87, was born in Eggleston in May 1926 before he moved with his family to Darlington.

He spent much of his childhood between Eggleston and Romaldkrik, in Teesdale, before he began to work in Darlington.

He later moved to Bishop Auckland and spent time in the Merchant Navy. Mr Raine moved into The Manor House, in Barnard Castle, and he died on May 20 last year.