A rare Hoopoe has helped pay for a new church roof - as birdwatchers flocked to a village near Biggleswade to see it

The bird is a rare, but regular, visitor to the UK

Thursday, 30th June 2022, 11:02 am
A hoopoe perches on a tree in the woods (Photo by JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images)
A hoopoe perches on a tree in the woods (Photo by JOSEPH EID/AFP via Getty Images)

A rare bird has helped raise almost £500 towards a new church roof as birdwatchers descended on a village in the hope of catching sight of it.

The visiting Hoopoe – a colourful bird usually found in Africa, Asia and Southern Europe – spent nearly a week in the paddock next to St Nicholas Church, Hinxworth.

The church offered off-road parking and the use of its toilet facilities to visiting birdwatchers, while volunteers served refreshments.

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In response, grateful visitors popped donations into a collection box.

Parish priest, the Reverend Chris Campbell, said: “The whole community has enjoyed welcoming both our feathered visitor and the birdwatchers that have come to watch him. In response, people have been most generous with their donations. We have to find some £120,000 to re-roof our Grade 2 listed medieval church, which is celebrating its 700th birthday this year - so maybe the Hoopoe was heaven sent.”