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Hear the last of the Norfolk eel catchers talk in newly recorded interviews

PUBLISHED: 10:38 18 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:38 18 May 2017

The Glaven Eel - European eel in its Norfolk home: illustration by Kate Dougan, Norfolk Coast Partnership

The Glaven Eel - European eel in its Norfolk home: illustration by Kate Dougan, Norfolk Coast Partnership

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The last of Norfolk’s eel catchers will reminisce about their lives in a film premiere being shown as part of a series of free events.

River Glaven, home to mysterious and endangered eels; Credit Ursula Juta, Norfolk Rivers TrustRiver Glaven, home to mysterious and endangered eels; Credit Ursula Juta, Norfolk Rivers Trust

The Norfolk Coast Partnership’s (NCP) eel project has focused on the River Glaven in north Norfolk, which has long been a habitat for the mysterious and endangered creatures.

The scheme was aimed at protecting eels on the coast by improving habitats, removing barriers, and encouraging understanding of their history.

In May and June a series of events including minibus and walk safaris, film screenings and talks will be held focusing on the shy fish.

The first event, on Sunday, May 21 at Cley NWT visitor centre, from 11am-3pm, explores the migration of the European eel.

This incredible journey starts with the tiny eggs in the Sargasso Sea, and ends two years and 4,000 miles later as the young elvers wash up at the Norfolk coast.

Once at the coast, the eels swim upstream and reach their freshwater home, where they grow for up to 20 years – until they make the journey home.

On June 3 and 17, four special enigmatic mystery tours will take people round eel habitats in the Glaven valley.

Mark Webster, tour leader, said: “We will be visiting some of the best wildlife sites in Norfolk to see the habitat improvement works carried out by the project on these minibus tours.”

A film screening and illustrated talk will reveal the secret life of the eels on June 8 at the meeting room of the Church of St Andrew the Apostle, Church Street, Holt at 7.30pm.

The National Lottery-backed project also set out to record Norfolk’s last eel catchers, and a special film screening and illustrated talk, In their own voices – The Last of the Great Easter Eel Catchers, is the first chance to hear newly recorded interviews, on June 9 at 7.30pm at Blakeney Village Hall.

The final event, the making of an eel-friendly river, will be a film screening and talk looking at how the project has transformed the Glaven into a safe haven for eels, and is on June 23 at Blakeney village hall at 7.30pm.

Estelle Hook, of the NCP, said: “We’re looking forward to sharing the little-known world of eels and chalk river restoration with lots of people at these free events.”

For more information and to book call Mark Webster on 07843 069567.

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