Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Wednesday, 17 June 2009 11:09 UK

Fisherman to pay bishop 'eel tax'


Peter Carter pushed off on a four-day journey along 22 miles of waterway

A fisherman is punting along East Anglian rivers and drains to hand an "eel tax" to a Cambridgeshire bishop.

On Saturday Peter Carter, 44, of Outwell, Norfolk, will give a bucket of eels to the Bishop of Ely.

Mr Carter is reviving a custom observed in medieval times to raise charity cash and to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Diocese of Ely.

Centuries ago Fenland villagers would pay taxes by punting to the cathedral to present eels to the bishop.

Mr Carter will hand six live eels caught in traditional willow traps to the Bishop of Ely, the Right Reverend Anthony Russell, after travelling for four days.

"I got the idea after talking to a vicar about the way villagers used to pay taxes to the church," he said.

"I thought it would be nice to revive the custom and I'm hoping to raise lots of money for a children's hospice through sponsorship."

He added: "I must be the first person to make this journey for centuries."

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