Kingfishers’ land was originally a pasture and arable farm, on the edge of the ancient Suffolk village of Cretingham. The land follows the meandering course of the upper River Deben through flooding water meadows, into wooded carr, and extends up the gentle north-west slope of the river valley where the old fields are divided by mature thorn and maple hedges, and interspersed with copses of veteran poplar, oak and ash, amongst many other tree species. In 1984, the network of small fields was adapted into a golf course that protected the land from intensive farming and benefited it with further tree planting which allowed wildlife a measure of freedom. But after a partial closure of the golf course in 2020, we saw how life in the valley, given the opportunity, could really thrive and decided it was time to allow nature to reclaim the land.
Kingfishers is proud to be working with a number of agencies, partners and organisations to create a bio diverse landscape with a managed wilding plan. The wilding of the golf course encompasses a number of elements including 60 acres of woodland creation, which will eventually incorporate areas for agroforestry and silvopasture. The land is currently going through organic certification with an aspiration to farm some areas biodynamically, including a vineyard which will be placed on the site of the former driving range. Our ecologists are working with our waterways and enhancing the wetland areas with additional pond creation and restoration of existing ponds to further extend habitats. We are working closely with DCS Ecology and our other partners and consultants include Suffolk Wildlife Trust, the Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission, Farmers Wildlife Advisory Group, WildEast, Suffolk Environmental Projects and the RSPB.
Stay at Kingfishers
But Kingfishers is also a place for people. We focus on providing access to the essential elements of life: earth, air, water and fire. We invite guests to come and see Kingfishers for themselves, to sleep under the earth in our Hobbit House, beneath the wooden beams of our log cabins, surrounded by canvas in our luxury bell tents, or on our small campsite. Kingfishers is a place to breathe clean air, wander through meadows and along woodland streams, to watch roe deer drifting out from the shade at sunrise or a barn owl quartering the long grass as the day draws to a close. If you sit quietly, you might see hares boxing, otters playing or our eponymous kingfishers fishing. When the sun goes down you can sip wine or hot chocolate around an open campfire, or savour the dark night sky in perfect tranquility. In short, we hope to offer you the opportunity to experience a little of the same regeneration as the landscape around you.