Four adorable peregrine falcon chicks have hatched at a waste and recycling facility near Ipswich.

The site at the SUEZ plant in Lodge Lane, in Great Blakenham, has been home to a pair of peregrines since 2019, with the birds nesting in a purpose-built box on top of the boiler house.

After the pair were regularly spotted at the site, the team at the facility and Peter Merchant, an ornithologist, were keen to encourage the growth of the peregrine population in the region by creating a nesting box for them to live in.

But staff at the facility were surprised to discover in April this year that four eggs had been laid on the top of the building.

SUEZ confirmed the chicks hatched last month.

East Anglian Daily Times: One of the peregrines with the eggs that were laid at the Suffolk waste facilityOne of the peregrines with the eggs that were laid at the Suffolk waste facility (Image: SUEZ)

Peregrines are a large and powerful falcon with long, broad, pointed wings that chase prey in flight.

By the mid 1960s, about 80% of the peregrine population had been lost due to illegal hunting practices and contamination of food supply from historic use of toxic agricultural chemicals.

Since the banning of these pesticides the peregrine numbers have slowly recovered, with the East of England being one of the last areas to recover.

Peregrines are still persecuted today and are a Schedule 1 listed species under The Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for finance and environment, said: "Suffolk County Council has committed to using its land and assets to enhance biodiversity, and to working with our partners and stakeholders across Suffolk to proactively support nature.

"This story is a great example of that commitment in practice. By working with our waste partner SUEZ, our energy from waste facility hosts wildflowers, waterfowl, bees and now a family of peregrine falcons.

"I hope this inspires other sites and landowners to think about how they too can provide habitats and help support nature."