Eel catcher describes ancient craft and royal visit at March Rotary Club meeting

EEL catcher Peter Carter described his ancient craft - and the time he met the Queen - to members of March Rotary Club at their final meeting of the year.

Mr Carter, an eel catcher and willow weaver from Outwell, told the audience that his ancestors had been involved in the trade since the 15th century.

He still catches eels, supplying them to markets, but he also conducts conservation work, surveys on water voles and the trapping of mink and Chinese Mitten Crabs that have begun to invade the waterways.

Mr Carter relived his encounters with television stars such as Griff Rhys Jones and Michael Portillo and described his “long chat” with the Queen on her visit to the Welney Wildlife Centre.

The eel catcher also specialises in willow weaving, from ornamental garden objects to willow coffins.

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He makes his own willow traps to catch the eels and his expertise has been called upon at the Bronze Age archaeological site at Must Farm, in Whittlesey.

The audience were delighted with Mr Carter’s talk and the eel catcher has a book due to be published in the spring.

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