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BBC Springwatch has put Suffolk and RSPB Minsmere on the map for years to come

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 June 2016 | UPDATED: 15:14 18 June 2016

Programme Name: Springwatch 2016 - TX: n/a - Episode: Springwatch 2016 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows:  Martin Hughes-Games, Michaela Strachan, Chris Packham - (C) BBC - Photographer: Jo Charlesworth

Programme Name: Springwatch 2016 - TX: n/a - Episode: Springwatch 2016 (No. n/a) - Picture Shows: Martin Hughes-Games, Michaela Strachan, Chris Packham - (C) BBC - Photographer: Jo Charlesworth

WARNING: Use of this copyright image is subject to the terms of use of BBC Pictures' Digital Picture Service (BBC Pictures) as set out at www.bbcpictures.co.uk. In particular, this image may only be published by a registered User of BBC Pictures for editorial use for the purpose of publicising the relevant BBC programme, personnel or activity during the Publicity Period which ends three review weeks following the date of transmission and provided the BBC and the copyright holder in the caption are credited. For any other purpose whatsoever, including advertising and commercial, prior written approval from the copyright holder will be required.

Suffolk can look forward to at least three more years of the "Springwatch effect" - even though the show may be broadcast from another part of the country in future.

Southwold beach - one of many tourist hot spots that could see extra visitors due to the Springwatch effect.Southwold beach - one of many tourist hot spots that could see extra visitors due to the Springwatch effect.

The BBC programme’s popularity has already brought more visitors in the past two years, having exposed the beauty of the county and superb wildlife habitat at the RSPB Minsmere reserve to a huge TV audience.

Minsmere visitor experience manager Matt Parrott said reserves had often found the first year of the show sowed a seed with a real increase in interest in future years.

He said: “The second year was really busy and we expect it to be even busier this time.

“The experience generally is that for three years after Springwatch has visited numbers at reserves where it has been continue to increase around the time the show is broadcast – so people see the programme again and with it still fresh in their minds they will visit Minsmere.

Aldeburgh - could see extra visitors due to the Springwatch effect.Aldeburgh - could see extra visitors due to the Springwatch effect.

“We are expecting a big influx over the next couple of weeks, especially with so much wildlife to see at the moment, then perhaps a lull and then it will get busy for the summer holidays.”

A spokeswoman for Visit Suffolk said: “Despite a challenging year so far for tourism businesses with the unsettled weather, the general outlook is fairly optimistic with advanced booking levels among accommodation providers looking strong, and business performance up year on year as a whole for 2016 compared to last year.

“Events like BBC Springwatch at RSPB Minsmere can only support this trend of driving more visitors to our wonderful county and impacting positively on our local economy.

“Not only does Minsmere provide one of the most unique natural habitats in the world, it has successfully put Suffolk firmly on the map. Viewers with very little experience of Suffolk will now at least have had a taster of what to expect.

“In addition to the series, Visit Suffolk has capitalised on BBC Springwatch, using it as a hook through social media and content to drive further inspiration amongst new and returning visitors.”

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