Richard's Ramblings

Is Spring Late This Year?

Prunus spinosa
Creative Commons License photo credit: Tim Green aka atoach

The weather seems to be improving by the day, the temperature is rising and many people are reporting sightings of wildlife coming out of their winter hibernation. For example common lizards, adders and bees are being seen at the moment though I haven’t been lucky enough to see them myself yet this year.

Equally, the Woodland Trust which runs the Natures Calendar website says that there are some surprises so far this year. For example blackthorn is typically in flower by mid-March and the Woodland Trust would expect to have received over 1,000 sitings of the blossom by now, but so far it has received only 1.

A variety of other native plants are also showing similar delays in their typical appearance. Hawthorn, for example, is typically exploding into leaf about now but once again the evidence suggests very little activity.

All this evidence suggests that the particularly hard winter we had has delayed spring – at least for many wild plants – by up to a month. Will we see nature catching back up or not? And what effect will this have on the animals which rely on these plants as a source of food? Only time will tell.

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