WELNEY: Griff Rhys Jones visits Welney for new BBC series and is shown how to use a punt gun

PUBLISHED: 18:21 30 August 2008 | UPDATED: 08:38 02 June 2010

griff rhys-jones at the WWT Welney

griff rhys-jones at the WWT Welney

GRIFF Rhys Jones visited the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Welney to film a rare demonstration of how a punt gun is fired on the pond beside the visitor centre.  Punt guns were used by the Fen folk in days gone by to hunt wildfowl out on the Fens in areas

GRIFF Rhys Jones visited the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust at Welney to film a rare demonstration of how a punt gun is fired on the pond beside the visitor centre.

Punt guns were used by the Fen folk in days gone by to hunt wildfowl out on the Fens in areas like the Ouse washes.

Griff teamed up with Peter Carter, a local eel fisherman willow merchant, who has restored his own punt boat, which he is able to take out onto the water and fire a punt gun from to demonstrate the methods used by the old Fen wildfowlers.

The film will be used in a BBC series next summer about rivers. Griff and the BBC filmed with Peter as part of a collection of stories from the East Anglia region all about how the people of this area made their livings from the waterways in the past.

The BBC managed to do eleven and a half hours of filming with Peter Carter's punt gun at the Welney Centre, firing the gun 5 times during the course of the day. Our visitors were treated to this display, easily viewed from our café veranda, in addition to the wildlife and Ouse washes scenery over on the reserve.

A local historian, Bill Smith, also joined Griff Rhys Jones and Peter Carter to film the demonstration and with this material Peter is planning to give a talk on this fascinating treasure from the past to visitors.

At the WWT Welney Wetland Centre they have their our own restored punt gun on display in the visitor centre. It was owned by the first manager of the Welney refuge, Josh Scott, and loaned to the centre by his grandson Paul.


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