Ufford Park Hotel, Spa & Golf's wildlife protection programme has attracted two declining species.
The hotel 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.
Amongst them, four mistle thrushes were recorded in the survey; the species, which was once common to much of Europe, has been much harder to find in South East England because of drier summers in recent years. Along with the thrushes, the 2018 survey also showed that hawfinches enjoy a visit to 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.”
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.
In recent years, the hotel has worked hard to expand their 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.”
Ufford Park's 90 bedroom hotel is surrounded by 120 acres of historic parkland, including an 18-hole championship golf course. The golf course has been used for events including the PGA Europro Tour, and the Best Western Senior Masters. A par 71, its selection of short technical and longer holes make it a testing but enjoyable course.
Water comes into play on 12 of the holes and the risk versus reward debate on each hole makes it particularly popular with more discerning golfers. Its excellent drainage and condition makes it playable even in bad weather, and it has been voted top winter golf course by Today’s Golfer.
Inside the hotel is a modern, well-equipped health club which contains a gym and indoor swimming pool, plus a spa with hydro pool, steam room, Swedish sauna, ice fountain and tropical showers for revitalising, tingling stimulation.