This year is the tenth Clovelly Herring Festival, held to promote these tasty, nutritious “silver darlings” and to support the carefully managed fishing carried out by this lovely Devon village’s local fishermen.
Clovelly once depended on the harvest of herring, which are caught in superb condition for a short season off its coast. Records go back more than 400 years and in 1749, there were a hundred herring boats in the port. When fishing was good, 9,000 herring could be landed at one time. Those days of massive catches are long gone and there remain just two herring fishermen who still employ sustainable fishing methods using drift nets and long lines.
The festival will feature delicious herring specialities, cookery demonstrations, beer tastings, local food and craft stalls, live shanty singers, stilt-walker entertainment, face painting, henna tattoos, a herring fishing photo exhibition, a “herring hunt” and National Trust event-themed children’s craft activities.
Maritime historian and writer, Mike Smylie (pictured above), will return with his Kipperland exhibition, which is devoted to the history of the herring. He will also be turning herring into delicious and delicate-tasting kippers and bloaters in his smokehouse.
There will also be net making, flax processing and a curragh on show provided by Flaxland and a herring art competition involving local schools. All of the art will be on display on the day.
For more information, visit: www.clovelly.co.uk. Picture by Guy Harrop