Green Heron Brings 11% Rise in Visitor Numbers at Heligan

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Birdwatchers flock to Cornwall from all over the UK for this once in a lifetime opportunity to see rare bird. The Lost Gardens of Heligan has been inundated with visitors eager to catch a sighting of an extremely rare Green Heron, spotted in the Lost Valley last week.

Heligan Green Heron

Seeing a hundred or more birdwatchers a day huddled around the lakes in the Lost Valley has been quite a spectacle in itself and we’d like to thank them for the respect they have shown for both the wildlife and the gardens.

The Green Heron has not been sighted in Cornwall since the first recorded sighting of the bird anywhere in the UK in 1889.

Interest in the Green Heron has quickly spread across the UK – with pictures reaching the front pages of newspapers and websites. And there has been a significant increase in visitor numbers for the same week last year at The Lost Gardens thanks to the bird watching community.

Hundreds of bird enthusiasts have ‘flocked’ to Heligan this week for this once in a lifetime opportunity to catch a glimpse of this native American bird causing an 11% increase in visitor numbers!

“Seeing a hundred or more birdwatchers a day huddled around the lakes in the Lost Valley has been quite a spectacle in itself and I would just like to thank everyone who has visited for their patience with each other and the respect that they have shown for both the wildlife and the gardens,” said Marketing Manager, Lorna Tremayne.

Birdwatchers Theresa Nichols and Anona Warford from North Devon were heading into Cornwall for a birdwatching holiday in Mullion when they diverted to Heligan after hearing the Green Heron news!

“It’s the first time we have seen a Green Heron and we were pleased to get some great views and lovely images, enhanced by the lovely weather,” said Theresa.

“The Green Heron and the interest it raised is a fantastic example of Heligan attracting and being respectful of rare and precious wildlife, and creating excitement about nature in a unique way,” said Heligan MD, Peter Stafford.

The first Green Heron ever sighted in the UK was also in Pentewan, Cornwall in 1889, this specimen can now be found in the Royal Cornwall Museum, Truro. The exhibit label reads-
‘A common North American species, for many years the only British record was of this one shot by a gamekeeper on marshy ground at Pentewan on 27th October 1889.’

The current Green Heron is still at Heligan and visitors can catch a glimpse if they visit soon. A video of the Green Heron, taken by the Heligan wildlife team can also be seen on the http://www.heliganwild.com website.

For further information please contact:
Simon Whittam @ Onshore Media
on: 01752 823414 or 078 0241 6420                            
Email: simonwhittam(at)weareonshore(dot)com
Or Dawn Bebe on 07831 790416
dawnbebe(at)weareonshore(dot)com

NOTES:
Broadcast quality footage of the rare Green Heron is available, as are a selection of pictures.

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Dawn Bebe
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