Spring into action

This spring, Leicestershire locals are being called upon by the Woodland Trust to participate in its Nature Calendar Project.  The charity needs the help of keen walkers and nature enthusiasts to get out into the woods and record their spring sightings as part of a nationwide project which monitors the effects of the changing climate on our plants, trees and wildlife.

The Trust is currently looking for the following five signs of spring in Leicestershire: native bluebell first flowering, the first blue tits and great tits gathering materials to build their nests, the first sightings of brimstone butterflies and the first leaf on the horse chestnut tree. People can record sightings at www.naturescalendar.org.uk/survey

Dr Kate Lewthwaite, Woodland Trust Nature’s Calendar Project Manager, said: “As a charity we rely more and more on members of the public to be out in our woods recording the sights and sounds associated with spring.  Over the last decade we have seen spring activity in our woods arriving earlier indicating a direct correlation to climate change”.

“By recording the first signs of spring our Nature’s Calendar project is able to monitor how species are reacting and adjusting to these changes. The general public in becoming the Trust’s eyes and ears are doing us and nature itself an enormous service”.

Some of the charity’s best local woods include: Burroughs Wood, Ratby; Martinshaw Wood, Leicester; Normanton Wood, Hinckley; Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Wood, Coalville and Willesley Wood, Ashby-de-la-Zouch. For locations and directions to your local woods see the Woodland Trust’s site: www.woodlandtrust.org/visiting-woods

The Trust recently launched a campaign urging Government to increase protection for ancient woodland in England and safeguard its future. The charity firmly believes that it should be preserved for the benefit of the many species which rely on it for survival.