A café is enjoying an unseasonal boost as the appearance of Ollie the otter has seen visitor numbers soar.

Jon Shapcott, Holywells Park's Bishops Café owner,  said despite bad weather, visitor numbers have increased since Suffolk Wildlife Trust and Ipswich Borough Council park rangers shared the news that Ollie had taken up residence on social media.

It is understood this is the first time an otter has lived in the park, which for decades was the home of the Cobbold brewing family.

Ipswich Star: Jon Shapcott, owner of Bishops CafeJon Shapcott, owner of Bishops Cafe (Image: Jon Shapcott)

Jon Shapcott said the news has brought a rush of 'otter spotters' and he has now launched a photographic competition on his café Facebook page.

He said: "The unannounced arrival of a rare European Otter has brought a huge number of visitors into Holywells Park.

"This time of year is usually very quiet, but thanks to our new friend happily showing off their fishing skills it has meant that the local café has had to bring in extra staff.

Ipswich Star: Ollie the otterOllie the otter (Image: Matthew Garnham)

"We would normally be operating with one or two members of staff at this time of year, however we now need at least four colleagues running the show.

"In honour and to thank the otter we have a photo competition. The winner will feature their print on our wall for all to see, accompanied with £30 of vouchers – we have prizes for runners up too.

"It’s on our Facebook and so far we have had some fantastic submissions.

"It’s clear people are enjoying seeing something different in our park this time of year," he added.

Holywells Park covers more than 28 hectares of picturesque grounds, is a County Wildlife Site, a Conservation Area with two listed buildings and is on the English Heritage Register of Historic Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.