Comedian will arrive by canoe to open new home for river trust

Launch of the new River Waveney Study Centre at Earsham.

Broadcaster, author and comedian Griff Rhys Jones will be officially opening the new home of the River Waveney Trust on Saturday.


Mr Rhys Jones, best known for his role in Not the Nine O'Clock News and as part of the comic duo Smith and Jones, will be arriving by canoe at the River Waveney Study Centre in Earsham, near Bungay, the former site of the Otter Trust, to take part in the opening ceremony.

The River Waveney Trust has signed a five-year lease with the Otter Trust, and will use the site's 32 acres, river frontage, lakes, walks and buildings to offer educational and entertainment events celebrating the Waveney.

The event will be restricted to River Waveney Trust members only, and about 150 members are expected to attend.

The centre will be opening to the public in spring 2014, and the trust is already working with local schools and colleges to bring education and wildlife closer together.

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Geoff Doggett, chairman of the River Waveney Trust, said: 'We are delighted that Griff can join us to help launch our study centre. As someone who has had a lifelong love affair with boats and rivers, there is nobody better to cut the ribbon. We hope he enjoys his trip on the Waveney and his time with us on Saturday.

'This wouldn't have been possible without so many of our members who have given up their valuable time to help us get the study centre ready so we look forward to giving them a day to remember.'

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Members of the River Waveney Trust have spent the past few months renovating and redecorating the buildings which haven't been used since the Otter Trust closed its doors in 2006, having declared its work in reintroducing the species as complete.

Mr Doggett, added: 'The lease has been gained on very favourable terms from the owners the Otter Trust charity and we are looking forward to bringing this famous and much loved site back into use.'

Mr Rhys Jones will arrive by canoe along with trust members, having navigated down a section of the River Waveney to get a first-hand look at the beauty of the natural border between Norfolk and Suffolk.

After the opening he will be moving on to Diss for a performance at the Corn Hall, Griff Rhys Jones Afloat – One Man in Three Boats, where he will talk about his lifetime love affair with boats. Proceeds from the event, which is almost sold out, will be shared between the Corn Hall Trust and the River Waveney Trust.

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