RSPB Minsmere visitor numbers up thanks to Springwatch
The BBC’s Springwatch may be over for another year, but its positive effects will be felt for many more at RSPB Minsmere and the surrounding area.
BBC Springwatch may be over for another year, but its positive effects will be felt for many more at RSPB Minsmere and the surrounding area.
The nature reserve, commonly considered to be one of the best in the world by nature enthusiasts, attracts around 90,000 visitors a year.
However, while the cameras have been broadcasting from the site figures have been hitting 1,000 a day.
The popular BBC Two series has shown the beauty of the Suffolk landscape and its thrilling diversity of wildlife over the past three weeks, and with the next two years’ shows to be filmed there the Springwatch effect is set to continue.
Minsmere visitor centre manager Tim Rose said, “Minsmere has always been a honeypot nature reserve in Suffolk, and Springwatch has made it that bit sweeter.
“It is great to have such a popular television show highlighting how important the work done for wildlife on the Suffolk coast really is and inspiring the public about wildlife in general.
“People have clearly been keen to see the area for themselves, and we’ve seen a significant increase in interest in Minsmere, both with local people and those further afield.
“On the first day of broadcast, we had one of our busiest days ever in Minsmere’s history and across the broadcast period so far, we have seen a 50% uplift in reserve visitors, which is fantastic.
“RSPB memberships over the past couple of weeks have tripled in comparison to this time last year and shop sales of items such as binoculars, bird food and gifts are on the rise too.”
And the lift has been felt in the wider Suffolk community, with local pubs and hotels also enjoying the benefits.
Julian Wallis, landlord at the Eel’s Foot Inn in Eastbridge, has enjoyed welcoming the production team to his pub.
“The Springwatch team are just like one big family – they are a fantastic bunch”, he said before explaining how Springwatch Unsprung presenter Nick Baker popped in to the pub last week and joined in with their regular music night, serenading the patrons with some blues harmonica.