SINCE the restored Eel House in Alresford began its series of open days during the summer of 2008, it has welcomed more than 6,000 visitors.

While up until now they have been able to witness an interesting but inactive building, the trustees are now in the process of getting the Eel House working again.

During the autumn, the traps were restored, with the help of a generous £2,000 grant from Winchester City Council, and the New Alresford Town Trust (NATT) is now applying to the Environment Agency for an “educational” trapping licence.

Trustee Pam Stevens said: “This will enable us to put together a programme with local schools to demonstrate this historic local activity – letting them see (and handle) eels trapped during the autumn nights, before releasing the eels again on their 3,000 mile journey back to the Sargasso Sea.”

And she added: “As always, we have had great local support, both practical and financial, for which we are hugely grateful and hope that 2017 will see the Eel House doing its thing for the first time in more than 40 years.”

This year’s open days take place from 11am to 5pm on Easter Sunday (April 16), May 14, July 2, August Bank Holiday Monday (August 28), and Sunday, September 10 – to coincide with heritage weekend.