Declining bird species flock to Suffolk hotel

A wildlife area at Ufford Park

A hotel’s wildlife protection programme has attracted two declining species.

Ufford Park Woodbridge Hotel, Golf and Spa is home to 39 species of birds, according to the findings of its first RSPB bird survey of 2019.

The survey revealed that the number of bird species spotted at Ufford Park has increased by almost 25% since 2011.

Four mistle thrushes were recorded in the survey. Once common to much of Europe, they have been much harder to find in South East England because of drier summers in recent years.

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In 2018, the survey showed hawfinches like to visit Ufford Park. Despite being the UK’s largest finch, sightings of the bird are increasingly rare because their breeding areas are in decline.

Malcom Key, of the RSPB, said: “One of the interesting things about Ufford Park is that it is evolving and maturing as a habitat.

“This continuing development results in changes to the bird species that like being there which is why the number of bird species has increased so significantly in the last eight years.”

A kingfisher bank

Tarnia Robertson, Ufford Park’s managing director, added: “We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such beautiful countryside.

“Our 4,000 trees, gorse area and ponds are home to all kinds of wildlife and we work tirelessly to protect the species that have made their home here.

“Over recent years we have worked hard to expand our wildlife programme.

“Our greenkeepers do a wonderful job of maintaining the ecology of our grounds to not only preserve the habitats of the existing wildlife but also to make it attractive to new species.

“They have introduced a purely sustainable programme of management throughout the whole golf course from green to rough areas.

“As a result, we have become a destination for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts.”

The RSPB undertake two annual surveys of the Ufford Park site each year.