Thursday, 9 June 2011


I just spent a pleasant couple of hours making a video with pupils from Samuel Pepys' School from St Neots. We walked to the River Viewpoint, past at least four singing nightingales and then conducted an interview session at Ray House Garden. One of the questions was about the number of visitors we get and where they come from.

I rambled on about the fact that we have well over 100,000 visitors a year and these include bird-watchers, dog-walkers, joggers and lovers. They come from all over the country and bring in a lot of money to the local community. I could see the youngsters' faces glazing over as I spoke so we tried a more practical approach, stopping each visitor and asking them where they were from.

The first two couples we encountered came from Essex and Cheshire. They come every year for our nightingales. Then we encountered a couple who came from Huntingdon, but had guests from Canada. I think I made my point!

Our May figures make good reading. This is the height of the nightingale season and therefore our busiest time of year. Though, due to the extra holidays, April was just as busy. In May we had 3823 visitors through the centre (In May 2010 we had 3543). 24 visiting groups brought 576 people and 9 educational groups brought 192 youngsters. Our own nightingale festival events attracted about 250 people.