There has been a "rather unusual visitor" to Norfolk’s only canal.

A seal was spotted swimming through the North Walsham and Dilham Canal on Wednesday, September 13 – much to the surprise of onlookers.

The creature was about 25 miles from the sea, having travelled up the Bure from Great Yarmouth, and then up the Ant, which meets the canal at Wayford Bridge.

The seal was guided back down the canal to the Ant by Darren Reeve – known ‘Captain Baldie’ – who runs Dilham Hall Canoe Hire.

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North Norfolk News: The Captain Baldie', of Dilham Hall Canoe Hire, who rescued the sealThe Captain Baldie', of Dilham Hall Canoe Hire, who rescued the seal (Image: Supplied)

He said it was a “very special moment” and an “honour” to gain the seal’s trust.

“It was a memory I will never forget,” he said.

“I was advised by seal rescue to coax him out of the canal. It took two-and a-bit hours to get him to follow me and at times he tagged along very close.

“He was a grey bull and in very healthy condition – just a bit lost.

“I got him all the way from Norfolk’s only canal into the River Ant and passed the boat yard at Wayford Bridge where he popped up and looked at me as if to say goodbye and then took off like a rocket.”

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Seals have been spotted elsewhere on the Broads, with some recorded as far inland as Norwich, on the Wensum.