Signs of spring

Wild Daffodil © Allen Holmes 2020

As the days become lighter and skies become brighter, our Inspiring People Officer Steph Turner, shares the seasonal highlights that will but a ‘spring’ in your step.

Spring has sprung! For me, nothing comes close to that first moment when you feel the warmth of the sun on your face after a long winter. It’s a welcome, natural boost as we emerge from our cosy nights in – and this spring signals a new chapter like no other, as we slowly head out from our homes and begin to reconnect with the world around us.
Signs of spring are everywhere. Whether you’re taking a walk around the block, heading to your local park or stretching your legs through woodlands or at the coast, this new season is a treat for all the senses. Get ready to feel invigorated!

Life gets a bit more colourful

One of the first signs that warmer days are coming is the appearance of snowdrops. It’s something I get so excited about each year and I’m sure the joy is felt by many of us. These seemingly delicate flowers have bravely broken through frosty ground to emerge into stunning displays. Once spotted, I know it won’t be long till the yellow cheer of wild primroses, celandines and daffodils will greet us. May-time brings one of the most magical scenes as native bluebells carpet our forests and woodlands. The violet hue is a bright flash of colour amongst the unfolding green leaves of the trees, and a reminder that summer will soon be is on its way.

Birds turn up the volume 

I know spring is here when I’m pleasantly awoken by the cheerful sound of birdsong (assuming I’ve had a good night’s sleep!). Around one hour before sunrise, the chorus begins as our feathered friends signal their territories, find a mate and start a feeding frenzy. Ever heard the phrase ‘the early bird catches the worm’? The idea behind this expression comes from worm-loving blackbirds who are one of the earliest birds to start singing! As they wake first, they get the best chance of catching a good meal.

Active from sunrise to sunset

Spring is a time of year when most of us are awake for both the arrival and departure of the sun. If I’m lucky enough to escape to the Yorkshire coast during the spring, I know the sunrises and sunsets will be as dramatic as the crashing waves and steep chalk cliffs. The coast is not shy of birdlife this season as Flamborough Headland’s begins its transformation into Yorkshire’s ‘seabird city’; puffins, razorbills and guillemots start to return in their thousands to raise their young, but it will be glances of gannets gracefully flying past that I’ll spot first of all. Soon the sight and sound of cliff-packed nesting spots will be an experience for the nose too!

You can smell it!

Ever stepped outside in spring, taken a deep breath and wondered why it smells different? That’s because spring really is in the air! Those April showers combined with the warming sun on the ground, releases a distinctly earthy aroma which hints to brighter days ahead. The sweet scent of blossom, wildflowers and tree buds all bring further fragrance, inviting us to get outside, go for a walk or start that garden project we’ve been meaning to do.
If I could bottle that smell, I would fill my house with it year-round!

Step back to spring forward 

Spotting the signs of spring and seeing (and hearing) wildlife become more active outside my window never fails to inspire me and lift my mood. Nature is constantly reminding me how amazing yet fragile it is, and so during this time, when I know creatures great and small are busy making homes, preparing to raise their young and pollinating plants, I always admire from a safe distance. I watch where I step too so young plant stems can grow tall and don’t pick wildflowers – the photos I take allow me to spread their colourful cheer with family and friends. Let’s give nature a boost in return this season; together we can ensure that the wonder of wildlife continues to put a spring in our step for many seasons to come.