Woodland in spring
Our woods are a delight to visit all year round, but spring is the jewel in the crown.
What is spring?
Meteorologists conventionally define each season as three months long and spring in the UK as March, April and May. The spring Equinox is on 20 March 2015 - this is when the day and night are approximately the same length. In the southern hemisphere, 20 March is the date of the autumn equinox.
In temperate parts of the world, spring is the season that follows winter and is associated with the fresh growth of vegetation, germination of dormant seeds, resuming of activity in hibernating creatures and the start of animal and plant reproduction.
Listen out for migrant birds returning for the summer. Cuckoo is one of our most iconic summer birds with a distinctive call. The familiar 'cuckoo' call is made by the male bird - the female cuckoo's song is a quiet gurgle.
Other wildlife is getting active too, insects start buzzing, crawling and creeping, plants emerge and begin to flower.
A spring walk in the woods can reveal tantalising signs of the season to follow. Whether it's the minute, shocking pink of a female hazel flower, a bumble bee buzzing about on a warm day or a boldly singing blackbird. A peek under the leaf litter can reveal hidden growth of bluebells and wild garlic, promising a visual feast to come.
Whether you're out for a solitary stroll or a riotous ramble with the kids, there are many ways to enjoy woodland.
Find out some fascinating facts about native bluebell (Hyacinthpides non-scripta). You'll learn to to tell them apart from the non-native Spanish bluebells and why they are so important to our woods, wildlife and well-being.
Record what you see
Our Nature's Calendar project offers interactive maps to show when and where many seasonal events are occurring. This information is very valuable but it relies on eager recorders to log their sightings. In this way, everyone can contribute to the UK's largest survey to assess the impact weather and climate change is having on our wildlife. Take part in the Big Bluebell Watch and help us put bluebells on the map this spring.