Entries for our Spring Diary

In partnership with the Landlines research team (based at the universities of Leeds, St Andrews and Sussex), the National Trust, Natural England and the Field Studies Council, we are working together to help get the nation talking about their encounters with nature or what spring means to them.

Today (20 March 2019) we asked people across the UK to submit up to 150 words about the official arrival of spring. We have published most entries on this feature page since it opened, please see below.

All entrants up until noon Friday, 22 March 2019, will go forward to be chosen for the eBook which will be available this summer.

Submission for entries at www.ahrc.ukri.org/spring-diary has now closed.


large flower
Tadpoles in water by Elodie and Astrid McCraig

Spring - what is Spring? 

I don't know!
I do... bunny rabbit time.
Lambs - lambies
I love them

Frogs... tadpoles in water
Swoosh, swoosh
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle.
Hop, Hop, Hop... FROGS!

Bunny rabbits... boing, boing, boing!
Like I'm living in a rainbow.
Hopping about... HAPPY
Elodie (5) and Astrid (3) McCraig, Wiltshire


large flower
Tulips in Hackney by Clive Tulloh

Spring from a balcony in Hackney.
Clive Tulloh, London


large flower
Blossom in the Upper Severn Valley, Mid Wales by Jac Newey

Highs

Sowing seed potato Kestrel with the sun on my back.
Spotting clumps of marsh marigold to photograph for #wildflowerhour on Twitter on Sunday.
Watching flowers of pale pink cherry blossom, blown off in Storm Hannah, float across a pond stuffed with frog spawn.
Filming a patch of wild daffodils to playback in slow motion - heads gracefully nodding.
The strong smell of Babington leek - a heritage variety - thriving near the garden shed.
The first sounds of young lambs bleating across the other side of the Upper Severn Valley.

Lows

Gardening with a bad case of tennis elbow. Turning left handed for the day.
Veg beds riddled with bank vole tunnels. The cat needs to go on a course...
Wondering if the sheer number of pheasants calling frantically about the place poses a threat to our summer crops...
Accidentally disturbing some black ants which headed straight up my sleeve towards that elbow...
Jac Newey, Powys


March 20th 2019 14 degrees Celsius overcast dry,
dawn chorus increased ten fold young nettles abundant and lush,
Daffodils everywhere some open some not, two cock pheasants square up unaware of their surroundings,
the May in full bloom pure white,grey squirrels busy, midges rise and fall about my head, worm casts a plenty,
Dandilions brighter than Daffodils strangely pretty,
bluebells not blue just green spikes they seem late but I think this very year,
Hawthorn leaves starting to unfold every thing is alive
Dave Parker, Suffolk


Walking around a park in Birmingham- egrets resting, nuthatches and goldcrests flying amongst trees, mallards, coots and swans making noise.
Emily Collins, Birmingham


yellow flower
On the Verge by Sally Lawson-Cruttenden

On the Verge

Early morning
Cackle and caw of corvid
Overlaid with a songbird symphony

Haribo
Hub Cap
Red Bull
Costa

Grass studded with stars of primrose
Daffodils light the morning
Early bluebells nose through bright green grass

Red Bull
Costa
Love lunch! Bacon and Cheese Bap
Cycling glove 

Rustle of panicked baby rabbit
Scuttle of squirrel charging up a tree 
Both taken unawares - for I am early today

Chardonnay
Single neon trainer
Stella Artois
Red Bull

Beautiful morning sky
Gurgle of choked culvert
Bloated body of badger

Fosters
Blue Circle
Cycling glove II
Red Bull

Clean fresh air
A bright fresh sunlit morning 
Spring has arrived
Sally Lawson-Cruttenden, West Sussex


Feeling the warmth back in the earth,
Breathing in the beauty of a new season
New buds on trees, green shoots in dark earth
Day by day silver buds unfolding. 
Hearing the hedgehog snuffling in the garden
Seeing its' prickly rear disappear in the undergrowth.
Birds busy feeding the young in nests newly built
Chirping of their little ones demanding their food,
Hearing their songs fills me with joy.
Daffodils in planters, crocuses purple white yellow
In a front garden taking over from snowdrops.
The fragrance of the soil after rain 
Rich in its' hope of what is yet to come.
Fields of diverse crops poking 
Their cautious heads out of the soil
Checking that the warmth has returned. 
Outpouring of life 
Spring is here.
Jean Harris, Norfolk


Along the roadside see the snow
and frozen rime on every tree
Or looking closer can it be
sweet flowering Blackthorn's clear white glow?
Not rime but blossom! Hope awakes
for Springtime's life and joy to all
on feeling this deep loving call
to thaw our hearts that Earth still makes.
Clare Johnson, Strilingshire


This afternoon was grey but still. I walked along the lane to Catcott Lows on the Somerset levels.

There was not another human being - just silence, huge skies, the levels and me.

Then waves of wigeon and shoveler rising up from the scrape, disturbed by a hen harrier quartering the moor.

Nowhere better to be.
Frances Barr, Somerset


yellow flower
Pussy willow by Kirsty Cartin

A spring walk, a brisk walk as a dark shower threatens on the horizon. In the woods, the snowdrops have passed but the daffs are trumpeting boldly.

Clumps of vivid green hint at the bluebells to come. The pussy willow, wisely wear their winter coats but in summer colours.

I sense motion in the blackthorn and see a flash of pink and black as a bullfinch flies off.

The birds serenade me with tunes which gain my admiration if not their peers.

By my feet, an early bee, forages for nectar. I must hurry on as the heavens open now.

I smile in the knowledge a rainbow will surely follow.


A hare
Surprised by Caroline Walker

The hare and I surprised each other on the path just after midday. For me it was a moment that put a smile on my face for the rest of the day, but I doubt the hare felt the same.
Caroline Walker, Teesside


Skies of Candyfloss,
when it's raining pink blossoms,
on a grey Spring day.
Valerie Oxford, Camberley, Surrey


A kingfisher under flew York Millenium Bridge on my way to work this morning (7:30am). A very unusual site that far into York.
A Ward, York


An argumentative wren, chatty blackbird and joyful skylark compete with the distant road hum. A violet peeps from a crack in the yard. The magnolia lights up the front of the house. Farmers busy with muckspreaders, lambs and feed wagons keep this small corner green and pleasant.
Hannah Rigden, Staffordshire


Selfie
Daffodils by Jacqui Durcan

Definitely one of those "good to be alive" days. A gentle breeze, an equable temperature and an occasional stripe of bright blue in an otherwise grey sky.

The gardens are full of showy yellow daffodils, forsythia, bright crocus and delicate early cherry blossom. In the dene it's the bird song you notice first; even by mid-afternoon it is louder than a dawn chorus, layer upon layer of musical trilling, all the birds competing for the best solo performance.

A tiny tree creeper spotted and a woodpecker heard but not seen. And all around you can feel nature stretching and pushing forth; a hint of green on the beech trees, the grass just a little bit longer than it was last week, a celandine flowering by the path.

Spring is on its way.
Jacqui Durcan, Tyne and Wear


Selfie
By Jessica Dollman

Our lifeless appliances' droning thrum
Has been replaced by a bee's rich hum,
Yesterday's twigs that in the cold wind blew
Now froth white with blossom new.
 
There is one tree upon the street
Still bare among the fragrant throng;
Perhaps like me it feels a cheat
To dance so early to Spring's song.
Jessica Dollman, Portsmouth


flowers and selfie
By Chris Wharton

Mindfulness amongst daffodils and new life.
Chris Wharton, Leicestershire


A stout in the wild
By Gary Shanks

Stoat taken today. First day of spring.
Gary Shanks, Dumfries & Galloway


Nothing breaks through the dark, grey winter of the concrete jungle quite like the deep purple of burgeoning blossom buds in a golden Spring sun.
Oscar Tracey-Prior,  Greater Manchester


flowers blossoming in front of building
Urban spring by Helen Barnes

The blackthorn outside the drug clinic flowered early - it's already over, like some of the short lives here.

But the park is full of daffodils, cherry blossom and long-tailed tits.

The plane tree outside the hospital like a cathedral soaring into blue heaven.

That red-headed boy on his scooter. And his dad - I can't help noticing despite being many years his senior - who is to quote Fleabag 'hot, so hot'.

Yes, spring in all her guises...
Helen Barnes, Catford, London


garden seat
Smiling Sunshine Seat by Jayne Lewis

Long pale purple roots remind me of mint tea, mentioned in play on gentle radio. I'm moved to June days, when nights draw in.

Within once hidden wood clothes pegs put aside to wash and dry resides a brown dull stick-like caterpillar. Alike a piece of dried Christmas tree waiting for it's Phoenix moment when Autumn nights are cheered by its comforting firelight.

Wind ruffles emerging birch 'tails', who imitate fluffier friends. See saw great tit, cluck of hen blackbird, robin relaxed unable to see Cybs cat who lurks beneath the table in waiting for her natural 'crop'.

When is the time to cut this clematis? Rarely does she escape fingers of frost.This summer-like day she smiles across my sunshine seat, to hold her territory.

Sounds of cooing and wings whirring as neighbour Graham's white doves murmur sweet nothings in their sweet summer seduction..
Jayne Lewis, Worcestershire


Woodland daffodils
Woodland daffodils by Jess Usher

The day dawned a luminous grey, the distant trees silhouette grey, backlit by the merest hint of sunlight that may yet break through the cloud. A greyish day but all around are the signs of a spring ready to unfurl.

I am sitting on leaf litter amongst the daffodils in woodland high above the fields.

Twiggy stems of understory hazel bear tiny green buds. The birds chatter, chirp and trill, refreshing to the ear as this week past they have been either silent or their voices drowned out by wild weather.

At my feet spreading away down the slope a thick carpet of shiny green rosettes show where the bluebells will bloom. Today the daffodils hold court, elegant swathes drift up the bank, white flowers nodding gently on the slightest of breezes.

Spring, early or late? This time it seems it is tip-toeing in, bang on time.
Jess Usher, Wiltshire


apple blossom
By Julie Barlett

Today's the first day of spring
But Day 28 for me
Waiting on the Urgent Transplant List,
I wonder when it will be?

The blossom is appearing,
Daffodils are here too,
Life is springing back now,
Do you know what you can do?

Please make this day special,
Have the chat & sign up to
The Organ Donor Register,
It's so easy to do.

So this spring equinox,
As we see life in nature starts,
Please consider those of us,
Waiting for our new hearts.
Julie Bartlett, Harefield, Middlesex


My walk to work begins with a mile and a half of field edges before I encounter the first tarmac. It involves a short pole-assisted leap over a thin stream. (There is a long hazel pole stowed nearby for the purpose).

I must have been in mid-air, mid-stream and mid-flow when the year's first chiffchaff started up, upstream somewhere.  A herald: the voice of the first few grams of transmigrated African dust and Mediterranean dew.

There are thousands of tons to come, another continental drift of rock, water and sun. The chiffchaff arrives and times the others to the half-second, and bids me be patient.

They are coming. They are coming.
Laurence Rose, Shelley, West Yorkshire


Today, on a foggy Spring day, I walked up Crag Fell in Ennerdale and was delighted to hear Meadow Pipits for the first time this year - their "falling" song as they establish their territories is unmistakable. In amongst this thrill I also heard the first shrill twee of a wheatear - two mountain migrants on the first day of Spring - terrific!
Julian Berkeley, Ennerdale, Lake District, Cumbria


Magnolia tree
By Brendan Fitzgerald

My Magnolia Tree believes it's time to bloom.
Brendan Fitzgerald, Tamworth, Staffordshire


apple blossom
Evergreen clematis apple blossom by John Hobson

Giving my rather overgrown lawn its second cut today I was accompanied by a robin looking to see what I might disturb.

From my front window I've been watching blue tits nesting under the guttering on my porch.
John Hobson, Coaley, Gloucesteshire


A few days ago I cut the last two living daffodils from my window-box and took them with me to lay among the candles at the London vigil for the terrorist attack in New Zealand, my home. The edges of their bright cups were crinkled. I don't know what else to do, so I spend the next morning planting beetroot seeds and tomato seeds to keep on my warm windowsill.

I can see a glorious magnolia from my window; I want to make a map of the best, most luscious magnolia trees all over London. I see them all the time.

I keep dreaming of a garden on a hillside above the sea.

Today the very first two crimson tulips appeared in their plastic pot, mouths still tightly shut. Meanwhile my last two daffodils will be softening on the grass by the memorial, becoming dry and translucent like discarded chrysalises.
Nina Mingya Powles, London


back garden
By Sagheer Mohammed

Hearing the gentle sound of birds singing, 
to the heart is it joy truly bringing.

Cold nights have now slowly departed,
replaced by sunshine soon to be started.

Flowers have begun to lusciously sprout,
being concealed no more, but rather out.

Delighting in the sights and sounds of the bees,
how pleased is the soul with what it sees,

So Blessed is He Who with all this does relieve, 
For surely spring is a sign, for those who believe.
Sagheer Mohammed, Romford, Essex


frogs
Frogs enjoying the spring by Jo Edkins

First day of Spring
Frogs celebrating
Pairing off
Holding on tight.
Jo Edkins, Cambridgeshire


wild primrose
Wild Primrose by Roisin Black

Spring generally arrives late and tentatively at Malham Tarn as there is always the threat of a late snow flurry. But this morning walking around the board walk frog spawn is appearing in the ponds and it is always wonderful to watch a Barn Owl hunting over the reserve in the early morning light.

The promise of what spring will bring can be seen all around.
When spring does arrive in the Yorkshire Dales the air is filled with the sound of Curlew, Lapwings and Oyster Catchers returning to nest.

Lambs begin to fill the fields running, jumping and so full of life that you can't help but smile.

Wild Primroses begin to show off their bright yellow flowers, the delicate yellow Star-of Bethlehem begin to flower at Hudswell Woods and the ransoms at Janet's Foss start to fill the air with garlic sent.
Roisin Black, North Yorkshire


spiral pad with long shadow
Spring Shadows by Lynn Ashford

Bright sun catches a lone ladybird shining as a ruby set in moss agate on the old bench.

A warm breeze plays across fast growing blades of grass reminding me that the first cut will be due very soon.

Spoilt for choice bees buzz busily between rhubarb and custard coloured primulas and the pink and blue comfrey that are flowering alongside bold dragonish lilac trachystemon, gently bobbing lime green euphorbia and glowing, dangly earring, racemes of flowering currant illuminated in the sunshine

Storm battered daffodils valiantly hold fast, their faces turned to the light, surrounded by bursting bluebell and plump Foxglove foliage, a promise of imminent colour and perfume. Forget Me Nots, Aquilegia, Mock Orange, Snowberry too all display promising signs.

Callicarpa with rice grain size buds hinting at the purple jewels that will shine later in the year as a cast of parleying birds herald the start of spring.
Lynn Ashford, Worcestershire


Bracken and dog
Bracken the dog by Elis Strasdin

Elis is very dyslexic and so I (Mum) was his scribe.

Wriggling catkins
Buttery-chin buttercups
Snowy hawthorn
Bees
Sticky Stichwort
Coconut gorse
Bursting buds
A springy spaniel
Exploding primroses
Birds singing like the bells of a chapel
Elis Stradin, Devon


Pond
Somerby Old Horse Pond by Dr Erin P Dooley

There are faries to be sure at the old horse pond. This awakening of spring, of frog spawn and coot rustle, of reeds and rushes and thrushes. A moment of magic reserved for this gaze.
Dr Erin P Dooley, Leicestershire


Roe buck
Roe buck by David Grix

One of the most special 'firsts' of spring for me was spotting through the trees a young roe buck beginning to shed the velvet around his new antlers.

Roe deer cast the previous year's antlers in late autumn, taking around 4 months to regrow a new pair under a protective layer of fur.

During an annual deer census in February, a thermal imager shows these new antlers to be positively glowing! This is because they are what is known as being 'in velvet'.

This fur, or velvet, covers the developing antlers, supplying the new tissue with blood, and is removed by the deer in springtime. The new antlers that emerge in spring may have more branches, or 'tines' and be pearled (knobbly) depending on age and availability of food, making this native deer species, with its pronking gait and teddy bear nose even more enigmatic.
Bethan Edmunds, Norfolk


View across a country landscape
View from the Downs by Holly Ramsden

Spring on The Downs

The air is filled with sounds of spring
and breezes bringing scents of green
With promises of warmer days
And skylarks' cheerful warbling

A view that takes the breath away
Of changing hues and blossomed trees
And kestrels taking to the skies
As winter burdens start to ease

Dozing bees are warmed to waking
In the earth and in the trees
Another's home is for the taking
Soon humming with activity

The signs of spring are all around
In flowers, tracks and nesting birds
From treetops to the earthen ground
In sights unseen and sounds unheard
Holly Ramsden, Bedfordshire


Reeds in a pond
Wicken Fen by Julia Hammond

Spring is the time when I can experience the fen waterway at Wicken Fen once more, as boat trips begin again at the nature reserve.

The relationship between the water and the landscape is a beautiful one; from the boat the soft sounds of the water slip into the rustling of the reeds, and the muted greens of the water melt into the new green shoots of foliage along the bank.

There's a tranquility as the boat slips through the water, but also a sense of expectation as I look out for new flora and fauna yet to appear.
Julia Hammond, Cambridgeshire


Plant close-up
By N Marchrones

Yesterday's kitchen wasp was freed -
Caught in a mug and released through the open door to the front garden and beyond.
At the same front door this early morning, 
the Collared Dove rustled in his nest - stirring much later than me,
as my presence disturbed his rest.
The frogs sleep on;
undisturbed by the early rising birds who welcome the sun.
Back in the kitchen, the seedlings of vegetables and herbs peer towards the glass on their windowsills,
soaking up the warmth of the morning sun - 
promising food in later seasons.
Beyond the front garden,
bees hover around the blossom of a cherry tree.
Gathering their stores in haste before the wind might return,
to rip the blossom from its branches. A temporary evidence of a season.
A solitary wasp joins the flight,
yesterday's invader perhaps?
Free now, to fly through the post winter warmth.
No interest in the Hornbeam catkins that dangle over the driveway - 
promising to unfold new life as bluebell stalks begin to peer through the leaf bundles, promising colour to ring in the new,
defeated in the flowering race by the Hellebores.
The blackbirds are late this year.
N Marchrones, North Somerset


Bird's nest
Birch nest by Rosalin Pounder

Spring, for me, is a burden lifted and a time to do something new. A time to cut loose. A time of both renewal and rediscovery.

Orion moves eastwards now tainting Spring with a little sadness as those dark, silent, secret nights of Winter have fallen away.

Today I gather fallen birch twigs for my new work.

A Birch twig nest. A protective vessel for the secrets of a new season.
Rosalind Pounder, Derby


A tree
The Tree - Spring by Reena Raj

The Tree

My window,
My view,
The Tree.

I see you everyday...

Quietly accepting
Loneliness and London,

Calmly swaying,
Seasons and time.

Steadily growing, 
Hope and anticipation.

My window,
My view,
The Tree.

Early afternoon and spring light....

My window,
My view,
The Tree.

Early afternoon and spring light....

The Tree.
Reena Raj, Islington

.


Hands pink, noses cold,
The fresh air bites as the day unfolds;

Commuters' feet glisten from the morning dew,
Earphones hang loose to hear a Skylark's song, as if on cue. 

Rustling shades of pink soothe the sky,
As sleepy eyes open, and heads no longer lie.

All rise for the Queen, as she stirs from her slumber.
Nature waits, anxiously, as its Sovereign quenches her hunger.

Proudly, the earth displays all of her treasure;
Splashes of yellows and whites, unveiled at her leisure!

Yet, flu-like and depraved, her uncertainty loiters,
Hopes dashed, as she recoils from her self-seeking exploiters.
Emma Prendergast, London


pink blossomed trees
By Adam Dyster

Every morning I walk from home in Hackney to my work in Victoria, Westminster, and after travelling through hectic central London, St James' Park is a oasis of calm.

This morning was no exception, as Spring burst into life everywhere across the park, from banks of daffodils to pink blossomed trees.

This blossom brought fans both exotic and domestic - I spied green parakeets snacking on blossom, whilst coots and geese waddled underneath.

A wander through, before back into the noise and traffic nearby, but this green oasis is so refreshing.
Adam Dyster, Greater London


tall flowers
We reach by Jen McDerra

My Spring resolution is to go out and into green spaces each morning with my dog without my phone.

The day before yesterday I saw the resident grey heron at Eaton Park catch a large goldfish from the pond and swallow it whole just a metre from me. It felt like a present for only wanting to look.

I took this photo when I came home today, while building a fire from dried rosemary in the fire pit to make space for the new and honour the passing. We also established a small habitat for hedgehogs through the back fence in time for their re-emergence in April.

The bright yellow flowers have just reached the upstairs window where I write. They tap on the glass and remind me to hit my word count and go outside as soon as possible.
Jen McDerra, Norwich


Mum to be
Mother Nature by Alice Little

This morning I woke, almost 34 weeks pregnant, as the sun shone through the window and the birds sang their morning song. I realised how the start of this beautiful season marks something extra special this year, new life in the form of our first child.

Heading out on a morning walk to Wheldrake Woods near York, felt full of optimism and the joys of spring. Bright yellow butterflies flew playfully over our heads and ladybirds dotted the rhododendron buds.

As we took a moment to sit and take in the sunshine we were surrounded by bird song, squirrels gathering food, blossom starting to flourish and the sweet scent of pine drifting through the forest.

Spring is always a very welcome sight but today Mother Nature felt truly inspiring.
Alice Little, North Yorkshire


Wicken Fen
Wicken Fen by Ajay Tegala

Spring at Wicken Fen means fond farewells to wintering wildfowl.
The Whooper Swans have headed north.
We savour the sight and sound of Fieldfares on the Fen, before they too depart.
Spring at Wicken Fen means celebrating new arrivals.
Our wild population of Konik ponies, which graze on the fen and live their entire lives here, have begun foaling this week.
Our Highland Cattle have already begun calving, but more will follow throughout spring.
Lush green reed shoots are pointing to the sky.
Yellow flowers of Coltsfoot and Celandine shine brightly in the sun.
Bright Brimstone butterfly are on the wing.
Spring at Wicken Fen means waiting for the first Cuckoo to call and the first dragonfly to take flight.
Suspense increases as we wait for the Fen to burst into life and colour: the most beautiful time of the year.
Ajay Tegala, Cambridegshire


Written in my Spring garden
The air is soft and mild,
Birds chatter high in the skeleton trees,
Carpet of blue ripples at my feet,
A new meeting place for birds.

The sun is shy, pale, hidden in the clouds,
But spring flowers brighten my view,
Lilac, yellow, blue, pink,
New life exploding - time to renew!
Judith Snell, Clackmannanshire


The bees buzzed their same frequency,
and the howling wind blew through the same trees.
A sun rose and fell - same as last - and 
whilst all seemed the same or similar - 
a change was sensed and sensible.
Bill Purbrick, London


Playful frogs
Playful frogs by Jacqueline Hitt

I haven't walked my usual loop around the village for weeks, the recent storms having kept me holed-up at home. Such treats greet me when I do today. 

A frisson of renewal fills the air. Along the pathway, bands of primroses jostle with a crowd of common dog violets sheltering beneath a hawthorn hedge. A froth of white and green blackthorn blossom speckled with gold joins me for most of the way. Skylarks, hidden somewhere in this year's new field growth, tease and taunt me with their warbling song. 

Three new born lambs, curious but nervous, stand and stare at me as I do at them, their presence always a sure harbinger of Spring. But it's the frogs in a nearby pond - and all their heaving, writhing, orgy of activity - that mesmerizes me the most. So many, all focused on doing the exact same thing: initiating life.
Jacqueline Hitt, Oxfordshire


The unmistakable busy, but slightly irritated sound of a bumblebee entered the rickety barn, whirring above our heads. The horse stood still, as did I. It was plump, magnificent, moving aimlessly towards the daylight filtering through the slats, before turning back to us, the object of its interests. It would take no prisoners I thought, and still we stayed there, motionless, until this golden creature flew back out into the light; focused once again. Spring has sprung.
Julie Venis, Polaris House, Swindon


Butterfly
Butterfly by Mark Coulston

Ewes a-lambing,
Bees abuzz.
Spring is better
Than Winter was.

The sun is brighter 
No more gloomy. 
Like the long-awaited departure 
Of a bad roomie  

No more SAD!
We are all gay.
(Not that there's anything wrong 
With being that way.)
Mark Coulston, Berrien, Michigan, USA


St George's tulips
St George's tulip on my pation by Michelle Chapman

Today's dawn was a special one with the year's first chiff chaff announcing its arrival. It's a fitting celebration to mark the vernal equinox.
Nature is changing so fast now. The apple boughs have just burst into leaf and my herb bed tells me there'll be mint for our potatoes this Sunday. My small urban garden is full of microclimates; demonstrated admirably today by my potted St George's tulips. Those by the house are in full bloom, whilst those further out in the garden - a mere few feet away - have barely a bud nosing through the soil.
My neighbour is most generous with her magnolia, which drapes itself conversationally over our dividing fence. Its pink flames fill my view, flowering a good 2-3 weeks earlier this year. I hope they're not caught out by a late frost.
The blackthorn's delicate branches of ballerina white nearby warn it might be so.
Michelle Chapman, Chippenham


We wore jumpers around the dinner table last night - so that we could keep the window open and hear a song thrush hammering his improvisations into the dark: TESTING TESTING TESTING... HOW'S THIS? HOW'S THIS? HOW'S THIS? HOW'S THIS? Every note warm and bright as candlelight. And in the morning it started again, this time with robin, woodpigeon, blackbird, dunnock, great tit and wren. And the first thought I had on waking was that surely you can only sing like that if you think of nothing else. If you accept that the Earth will turn, with us or without us. If you accept that the returning light will take care of itself. If your only urgency is now.
Amy-Jane Beer, North Yorkshire


Magnolias
Magnolia by Ranjan-Mohanty

Magnolia (504)
Pink against blue sky
Magnificent Magnolia
Pause and ponder why

Mokuren (Magnolia)
Sora ni pinku (Pink in sky)
Utsukushi mokuren (Beautiful Magnolia)
Mite kangaeru (Look and think)
Ranjan Mohanty, Surrey


Daisies, Cornflowers, Cherry trees;
Winter's Cold Cloak changing into Spring's Emerald Silk.
Fauna and Flora reawakening from their Sleeping Beauty; Farms preparing for the Summer months. Forthcoming crops and celebrations awaiting us all in the following weeks.
Simon Barre-Brisebois, Quebec, Canada


Mixed flowers and classic building
By John McDonald

Hyacinths in the Titanic Memorial Garden at Belfast City Hall at lunchtime on the vernal equinox 2019.
John McDonald, Co. Antrim


The behemoth of spring is waking, shaking off the long sleep of winter and rumbling into action as it has done eon following eon. 
As I look out on my rural garden here in County Down I see the red stems of Cornus alba standing upright, like just lit matches with their new leaves forming at the tips. The Forsythia and flowering currant are pretty in yellow and pink while the hawthorn hedge in the background is starting to fill in with new greenery. 
A robin follows me around the garden. I add mulch below the Magnolia stellata with its furry fat buds which are showing a tantalising glimpse of the snowy white petals to come and he gets an easy wormy meal. 
The birch trees are like grumpy teenagers, reluctant to shake off their slumber but will eventually awake and join in with the annual cycle of renewal.
Joan Tollerton, Banbridge


daisy patch
Chlorophyll Carpet by Chibuzo Chikezie-Morris

As I step out of Polaris House, walking down the curved paved pathway, like a maze it leads me on a journey of exploration. 
The edges of my mouth gradually curve into a wide ear to ear grin, as I spot a beautiful multicoloured bird, happily singing a song that should top the charts, and wagging its tail with glee.
I carry on walking and I'm suddenly struck by the sweet scent of floral fragrance. The abundance of oxygen nature produces courses through my nose and pervades my being, invigorating and rejuvenating. 
I spot the chlorophyll filled green carpet grass dotted with pretty daisies. It's a flowery jungle out here, teeming with life and the promise of new beginnings. 
As if in agreement, I experience the sensation of crisp fresh air, like soft Egyptian cotton, lightly grazing my melanin filled skin. 
Renewed life and blossoming is the message spring brings. 
Chibuzo Chikezie-Morris, Polaris House, Swindon


Daffodill in the sun
By Peter Jones 20/03/19

Spring steps in quietly to replace winter amid the noise and bustle of the urban environment. Chaffinches celebrate the warm touch of sun on plumage in song. A lunchtime stroll with spring in my mind brings peace to the soul.
Peter Jones, Derby


Lesser celandine
Lesser celandine by Peter Brash

Bright daisy buttons burst, scattered on the grass
Bluebell green spears through forgotten autumn leaves
Sparrows gossip in the ivy, greenfinches wheeze and wings wheel
Starling quacks creaks snaps crackles and pops whistles
Wood pigeon claps wings and sails while another croons deep bass 
Song thrush enquires, nuthatch quips, squirrel chatters 
Dunnock juggles a jumble of notes that scatter
The robin considers, sings syrupy sweetness and pauses
Red-tailed bumblebee blunders on a currant bush
Pounces on pink grape bunches of tom cat flowers
Red orange butterfly cavorts and corkscrews through bright light and deep shade
Sun beams, laser through branches, stair rods on celandine reflections
Chiffchaff constant, metronomic, counting time as the heartbeat of spring quickens.
Peter Brash, Liverpool


Country field
By Alex C. 2019

A chill wind bends the Maram beneath a comforting sun, the stage set for a sonnet, proclaiming Spring has come.
Gulls chatter in boisterous chorus whilst meadow pipits trill; sparrows in hedges bicker, long forgotten Winter's still.
Low waves massage the shoreline, a rhythmic soothing thrum. Hares within the hinterland, box and dance and run.
Barn owls glide in silence as their Tawny brethren call, Roe deer bark from misted shrouds beneath a moon now waxing full.
In soulful solace cradles the sunrise coast, life's festival come due, reinvigorating and reaffirming, natures cycles start anew.
Alex C, Suffolk


Budding flowers
By Emily Conlon

In this quiet sanctuary of Leicester City, Aylestone Meadows provides the perfect escape and reminder that Spring is in the air and warmer weather is on its way.
Emily Conlon, Leicester


Bumblebee
Bumblebee by Helen Shread

The storm is finally past; I sit very still on the planks of the deck, bathed in sunshine with a cat asleep against my outstretched legs. Noise is all around me, I hear the rooks' wings flip flapping up in their nesting tree, squabbling over who knows what, calling incessantly to one another in their community up in the sky. Occupying the holly bushes a whole family of long tailed tits, tiny balls of fluff convey a sense of excitement and urgency as they flit about. A huge mistle thrush pokes about behind the first daffodils, rustling its way towards a tasty lunch and two magpies hop around on the lawn squawking as if they own the place. Suddenly a blackbird's alarm call and rustling of dry leaves as three squirrels race past and up the nearest tree. The cat blinks, stretches and stalks off into the wood to investigate.


At home in Somerset, looking out at the garden from my kitchen window as I drink my morning tea.
Watching a Blue Tit explore the bare, copper coloured branches of the Paperbark Maple, for aphids.
Smiling at the three Blackbirds, scurrying from shed to garage roof. The male intent on impressing the girls by picking bundles of moss from the guttering and dropping it to the ground.
The daffodils brilliant yellow against a background of green, one lone tulip, crimson in the early morning light.
These are all beginings, Spring, my favourite season, holds many promises.
Pam Taylor, Somerset
 


Maple Tree sapling
City concrete blooms by Ruth Lampard

Concrete at the heart 
of the busy, dusty City. 
Unexpected spring bloom.
Ruth Lampard, London


“I can hear the chirping,
Of many happy birds.
In 3d sound, around my gaff.

Sturdy, branchy sillouetted trees, form a loose parade. But their leafless antenna are overshadowed by the Invader. Mr llanddi what ever”
Kerri Cooper, Hitchin


flowers
Spring is afoot!

“The winds of late have abaited,
Spring is afoot,
Ushering forth from an old rubber boot.”
Janet Clayson, Peasmarsh, Rye, East Sussex


Maple Tree sapling
Spring is here:Maple Tree by Fiona Coates

“I look out the window
and I see the Maple tree, with it's buds slowly opening. A sign that spring is here.”
Fiona Coates, Willerby, East Yorkshire


First day of spring from a bedroom in Broomhill, Sheffield
First day of spring from a bedroom in Broomhill, Sheffield

“It's not even seven in the morning and my 83-year-old mother has already texted me from her care home: 'Happy first day of spring.' She does it every year. Sunlight is leaking round the edges of the bedroom curtains and outside a great tit is sawing away at its song. I think of how Mum's springs have diminished. Once she would have been out in the garden, sowing seeds before work, but now she struggles to walk more than a few paces. The sparrows chirruping in the neighbours' hedge are a reminder of more losses. As a child I saw them everywhere but now they are red-listed. I get up and open the curtains, take in the view across Sheffield. The sun is glinting off car bonnets; a magnolia tree down the street is in full bloom. I text her back: 'Happy first day of spring, Mum.' I mean it.”
Joanna Dobson, Sheffield, South Yorkshire


“7.45 a.m. and the sun is long up, rising nearly 40 degrees to the east of its winter solstice position. Today it is behind grey cloud, the wind of recent days has dropped and the meadow before me is quiet.

A little egret walks along Wolvercote Common and flies away towards the Thames by Port Meadow. The quince in my garden is pale with green buds still downy, and goldfinches settle only briefly before flying off again. Underneath, hellebores thrive and bloom, travellers from my mother's garden after she died many years ago.”
Eleanor Woods, Wolvercote, Oxford


“Three bluebells and a wet bumble bee tumbling from a mossy log.”
Lis Janaway, Wells, Somerset


A Barn Owl in flight
Copyright Val Affleck

“Catching the opportunity to fly after the wind and rain”
Valerie Affleck, Durham, County Durham


A frog in undergrowth
Hello lovely

“First day of Spring a
Welcome garden visitor
Beautiful but shy”
Simon Williams, Golcar, West Yorkshire


Dover in late february
Dover in late February

“A record warm spell in February 2019, preceeded by violets in bloom in December 2018! Frogspawn in mid February, another dawn of an early spring. Red Admirals and Brimstone butterflies a-wing in late January”
Bob Heddle, Ickham, Kent


Blossom on a tree
 

“I walk along the river and come across a tree, full of life for all to see. It's branches covered in the most beautiful of splendor, It's something that i will always remember”
Michael Thackeray, Rhayader, Powys


“What a lovely Spring day I've had! Waking up this morning to the beautiful singing of our resident Blackbird and Robin. Now I'm just back from my walk with the dogs, we were greeted by 3 bumble bees, 2 buzzards, purple Vetch among the yellow Dandelions, Celandine and the more subtle Primroses. Blackthorn blossom only just opened and Hawthorn sprouting leaves. Black headed Gulls now getting their black heads. Fiona's Billy Goat and hens, sheep and lambs, eyeing my collies carefully and Harvey the horse. The only blot? Rubbish on the roads, thrown from cars! A plastic bottle in your car, is simply an empty receptacle which YOU can reuse or recycle. Once on the road, it becomes litter! Would like the animals I just met to trample over your garden and leave their rubbish? To cheer us up, 7 Goldfinches on our feeders in the garden! Nature is wonderful!!!!”
Anne McCusker, Ballygally, Larne, County Antrim, Northern Ireland


Cherry Tree Canopy
Cherry Tree Canopy

“The buzzing of the bees in the cherry-blossomed trees welcomes fellow workers to their own business of creation. Our entwined enterprise is infused with dance, colour and scents to refresh our winter-wilted senses.”
Danny Cullinane, Liverpool


Garden in Spring
Garden in Spring

“The mornings are getting lighter, the sun in the sky a wee bit brighter, ladybirds were out today, the songbirds singing away, the daffodils are starting to show their yellow heads, plants are beginning to rise from their winter beds.”
Fiona Johnstone, Peebleshire, Scotland


 

“Aubretia bonanza and Jasmine delights Daffodils blaze and beckon warm nights. A welcome arrival our Derbyshire Spring, all glow with approval - a wondrous thing!”
Rob Fryer, Handley, Ashover, Derbyshire


Spring Pots
Spring pots

“Sunshine and birdsong; the cricket ground preparing for the new season; we are airing our summerhouse. The air is still cool, but the sky is blue as are the blue tits commandeering our bird box.”
John Maynard, Kidderminster, Worcestershire


Apricot Blossoms
Apricot Blossoms

“Lovely morning on the Allotment. Frogs spawning in the pond and perfect Apricot Blossoms.”
Robert Newnham, Ruislip, Greater London


 

“Spring is one of my favourite times of year, a time when National Trust places burst into life. After a winter of long and cold nights, we all look forward to lighter mornings and long walks in the fresh air. It's about refreshing our senses in gardens bursting with colour, being inspired by wandering through magnificent landscapes and re-connecting with each other in the great outdoors.

This year, I was privileged to spend the first few hours of spring in one of my favourite places. Divis Mountain has long been a place I love to walk and run because of the sense of freedom it gives me. The light rain felt refreshing, and a reminder that April showers are just around the corner! It was a joy to share this wonderful open space with my colleagues.”
Hilary McGrady


“pert bright daffodils
boldly proclaiming the spring
a sunshine parade”
Pamela Skinner, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire


May Blossom
Copyright David Melville Edwards 2019

“The Coming of Spring

"Cast nary a clout until May be out."
Does it reference the month or flower?
Thirty days before April's sweet shower
Had any chance to pierce March's drought
Hedgerow blackthorn blossom drifted about
In the breeze, scattering petals over
The path, spreading the heady aroma
Around the park where I walk, a devout
Worshipper of the Goddess of Spring with
My miniature Cerberus in train to
Make sure she doesn't miss the real thing.
Persephone, peplos-clad queen of myth
May not feel the cold, but her view
Isn't shared by me. I'm wearing sheepskin.”
David Edwards, Cantley Park, Wokingham, Berkshire


Blue sky over rooftops
Ravens in blue

“Walked past the old church at St Werbergh's in Bristol with the mother of my children - my ex partner - to look at a house she might buy. A raven came over and kronked once. It sounded like an endorsement of some kind. They breed early in the year and are already on the notional first day of the spring done with the season. They are newish birds in Bristol- when I was a boy birdwatcher you had to go to Dartmoor or mid Wales to see one. Now they breed in the Avon Gorge and fly high and wide across the city. But are they birds of ill omen? Should Stephanie buy the house. Lady Macbeth is not a good estate agent. She had a thing for ravens.”
Tim Dee, Bristol


Copyright Richard Knowles

“The winter gloom is but a distant memory, as springtime blossom, birdsong and the whiff of warmer days ahead, fill our senses.

The dawn chorus wakes us from our slumber earlier and earlier, with robins, blackbirds, house sparrows, blue tits and goldfinches all pitching their tune as the sun rises to create a new vista.

Spiders spin intricate webs as frogs hop into action to find a mate and create the next generation in a pond near you.

Darkness also brings spring surprises, as worms, beetles, slugs and snails all spend more time enjoying the relative warmth of spring.

But, for me, spring is all about blossom; the smell, the colour, the sense of warmth and embracing nature at its finest.”
Richard Knowles, Frodsham, Cheshire


Magnolia in Preston Park
Magnolia in Preston Park, Brighton

“Spring is the season of contrasts and contradictions. Pastel pink magnolia blossoms hammered by furious hailstones. Ferocious waves breaking over the marina wall, while dazzling sun glints off the churned-up sea. A tiny wren pecks around beneath the towering daffodils”
Claire Owers, Brighton, East Sussex


Gracie
Gracie

“I snapped a photo of Gracie, my puppy, sitting amongst the daffodils this morning. We were having a walk around the Felbrigg Estate before starting work. Gracie comes to work with me at Felbrigg on most days and is enjoying seeing the signs of spring for the first time ever as she's only 8 months old!”
Fiona Lilley, Felbrigg Hall, Norfolk


Bumble bee lunching
Bumble bee lunching, Copyright Carole Tyrrell

“With the glimpse of a sulphur yellow Brimstone flashing past colour returns to my world. The bright blue of Grape Hyacinths against a terracotta pot, A red and blue male Chaffinch perches on the feeder and calls loudly for his mate. Birds carrying twigs for nest building. An early glade of purple crocuses buzzing with bumble bees gorging themselves on nectar and a welcome reminder of what is to come.”
Carole Tyrell, Sevenoaks, Kent


“Pleasant days of Spring again
Sometimes sunshine, sometimes rain
From the earth snowdrops have peeped
Where in winter they've been asleep

Tulips, crocus and narcissi
Are thrusting upwards to the sky
Swoon they will open into bloom
And offer up a sweet perfume

Thrushes, blackbirds with sweetest song
Are making nests before too long
Robins, blue tits and Jenny wrens
Will also build in leafy glens

Primroses yellow and then blue bells
In shaded combes and sunlit dells
Leaves and catkins on the trees
Nature at its best to please”
Robert French, Chipping Sodbury, Gloucestershire


Calf peering out from behind its mother
Peekaboo Minimoo

“At Wicken Fen, Coltsfoot flowering, Brimstone butterflies, Goat willow catkins and a new Highland bull calf called Minimoo.

Spring means we have longer days, butterflies, wildflowers emerging, melodic birdsong, nesting bird activity, green foliage, feeling the warm sun on my face, fragrance, colour, the wind through my hatless hair.

Unable to work since 2010, due to ME & fibromyalgia, I volunteer for the National Trust.
Walking in nature has a beneficial effect on my health and wellbeing.
By slowing down my pace of life I have become more in tune with nature & quite observant.

Volunteering, inspires me & I discover new things in nature every week.
My role is to take photographs & post on social media, initially I used my iPhone but now use a cannon DSLR too.
Wicken Fen is my quiet place, somewhere to completely relax and unwind from everything, my sanctuary.”
Colin Smale, Lincolnshire


“18th March 2019. Magpies nesting in tall holly. Goldfinches pulling cobwebs for (early) nest.”
Glynis Pierson, Wicken Fen, Cambridgeshire


Hydrangea in clay pot
 

“We can no longer
bear to wear our winter coats,
but we are still cold!”
Deborah Kroll, Gloucestershire


Pheasant in Green Drive Lytham
Pheasant in Green Drive Lytham, Copyright John Hobson

“A pheasant watches me from a garden wall as I walk into Green Drive and follow the path between the trees. The warmth as the sun tries to break though the clouds, and then the branches, feels unusual after the rain and chill of the last days of Winter. I look up and see a nuthatch hop from a tree trunk and scrabble down a branch. It looks awry. The ungainly movement is accompanied by the staccato drumming of a woodpecker higher up in the canopy. I look further up and suddenly notice the new leaves on the sycamores unfurling like luminous green feet and I feel something swell in my self, for the sixty first time. I am in my own autumn now, but spring still fills me with hope and joy. My dog seems to sense it too and chases the squirrels with unusual enthusiasm.”
John Hobson, Lytham, Lancashire


 

“My street,
The same street as ever,
Locked up and rolled into the heart of West London,
Clad grey and heavy with the hustle and bustle
of just another day.

Up and down,
to and fro,
people trapped in cars,
trapped on this narrow street,
trapped in this city,
trapped on this planet,
hurtling through space.

But in our whirling, dervishing, dizzying
journey through the cosmos,
we reach a point where the things are just right,
just so,
so that something wonderful happens.

On this planet,
in a city,
on a narrow street,
the people in cars,
to and fro,
up and down,
look out of their windows
and see beauty.

Solitary she stands,
bursting,
breaking,
shattering the grey straight jacket,
uproarious pink dances with shy white on her leaves,
in her pomp,
defying the world around her.

Cherry tree on my street, thank you for being you.”
Matthew Graham, London


“bee by the catkins
this mild mid-morning
air sweet with birdsong”
Davy King, Shiregreen, Sheffield, South Yorkshire


Holly Fiddes in Brighton
Holly Fiddes in Brighton

“March is the loveliest month, breeding
flowers out of the green land, mixing
plastic and water, killing
whales with consumer waste.
Oil kept us warm, covering
Earth in neglectful poison, feeding
a little life with exploitative wealth.
Let's hope May surprises us, coming over the crises
with an enforce of action; stopping in our tracks,
and understanding:
we are amidst a climate emergency.
Let us drink oat milk, and stop it.”
Holly Fiddes, Leeds, West Yorkshire


Geum 'Karlskaer' in flower
Geum 'Karlskaer' / Judith Teasdale

“My Wincanton garden is muddled this spring! After weeks of prematurely mild weather, some of my plants think summer is just round the corner. Venturing out this morning, clutching my first coffee of the day and expecting to see the usual cheerful array of Narcissi and squill, I was startled to see a Geum 'Karlskaer' has sent up a bouquet of arching stems tipped with raspberry-coloured buds. The lively orange blossoms are already starting to unfurl. I hope my Geum won't regret its optimistic enthusiasm!”
Judith Teasdale, Wincanton, Somerset


“Composed under the blue sky,
My mind wanders more than my feet,
Arriving where all mornings meet
to discuss upon which streets the sunshine should
be lazing
and in which soul should early breeze
reside to bring some joy.

Composed within my self,
I let the morning and the sunshine choose me,
Whilst I drift amidst this smokeless air...
There's March within my heart,
The gliding Thames is by my side,
I am no longer solitaire.”
Delia Ozarchevici, London


A single Daffodil growing next to a children's playground
Copyright: Dermot Murphy

“It only dawned on me this morning that spring arrives today! I missed a good clue yesterday as I gazed out my front window not the garden and noticed some movement in the shrub in front of me. At first I though it might be a small bird fleeting through the leaves but a second I was surprised to see it was a bumblebee! A bumblebee at this time of year?! Spring must be on its way. It was only this morning that it dawned on me it was actually here. Today. This was my fathers favourite season and finally now after the long dark winter I was excited about the prospect of getting out on my bike and going for long walks along the shore. Suddenly there are a million things I want to get outside to do!”
Dermot Murphy, County Antrim, Northern Ireland


“Woodpeckers very audible in multiple locations throughout Arbrook Common 20th March 2019 07:45”
John Gibbard from Surrey


trays of seedlings in a garden nursery
The nursery at Hardwick. Photo credit: Chelsey Wild.

“Strolling is the gastronomy of the eye. To walk is to vegetate to stroll is to live.' (Balzac 1799 - 1850). I associate spring with strolling; looking far and looking close, the mid-range confident garden scenes can wait until summer; it's the quieter long views and the up close secret studies of squeezable buds I'm interested in.

My favourite flower colour is yellow, Spring is blue skies, yellow flowers and jewel green buds. Sounds are those of stones on rakes as we prepare seed beds, a chiming percussion to the anticipation I feel as I step through the gates of our walled gardens.

For gardeners this is a sped up time up year as seemingly overnight the tree canopies turn green and cast shade, but we wait for the Ash, our last tree to unfurl its leaves; as we wait our seeds germinate with the promise of future harvests.”
Pam Smith, Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire


“Woodpeckers very audible in multiple locations throughout Arbrook Common 20th March 2019 07:45”
John Gibbard from Surrey


Blossom growing out of the bark of a tree
Spring bursts out in a tree-lined street. C. FJE

“Gnarled flesh of a dormant cherry tree
erupted overnight,
from lichen-licked bark came
pink velvet lava drops
It soothed my soul.”
Fran Egan from London, a tree-lined road in suburbia


Close up image of rhubarb bursting from the ground
The Potential of So Much

“Gardening has never been my strength.

Last year, I planted rhubarb, hoping for a decent crop, but the weather had other ideas. By December, the plants appeared dead. Could I admit defeat and turn over the soil, or should there be an opportunity for nature to triumph despite continually horrendous, wet conditions?

It would now appear that the rhubarb is not yet ready to die.

This weekend it will be time to clear moss and weeds from their beds, to find and apply compost to nurture unexpected, brilliant growth. My efforts were not totally in vain, and there is still the chance of making myself Rhubarb Fool later in the year. This used to be a plant my grandfather grew on his allotment, that my mother will no longer have to supply me with from her beds.

Spring has confirmed there may yet be a horticulturalist hidden in my psyche.”
Sarah Reason from Essex


Drawing of bee on a flower
(c) M J Kerry 2019

“It's warming up nicely
The season precisely
Behaving the way that it should
The green buds are sprouting
The daffodils flouting
And birds sweetly sing in the wood
Out over the ocean,
I do get the notion
White horses have faded away
Early each morning
Seagulls give warning
Of lengthening hours of the day.

So I'm not down hearted,
Now winter's departed
Tho' it's left me with sniffles that linger
I'll not give a pardon,
Just retire to my garden
And watch - without lifting a finger
While bees plunder flowers
For hours and hours
And baby birds learn how to fly
Pond frogs are croaking,
It's true - I'm not joking
They're feeling as frisky as I!

I'm a warm-weather cyclist
But days that are like this
Could even get me in the saddle
With the sea getting warmer
Comes the annual trauma
Of baring my knees for a paddle
But bring on the heatwave
I'm ready to be brave
And stake out my place in the sun
I'll return to my sofa
Like any proud loafer
When summer is over and done!”
Mike Kerry from East Sussex


“During the last few weeks the inhabitants of the Thames have morphed from large winter flocks in non-descript plumage to small numbers of pairs in sleek plumage. Regularly distributed pairs of mallards dabble in tight choreography. Several groups of resplendent males have clearly missed acquiring mates and will have to wait for another year.

Their human counterparts display their occupations in their dress. Two smartly dressed bankers discuss clients indiscreetly, wearing expensive overcoats with red-lined collars, whilst two financial technologists wear fleeces and sport open shirts. Many of the morning commuters stare into their smartphones, as unaware of the glories of nature as the wildlife is of the human hubbub. But all arrive at work calmer from the experience of slowly motoring along the aorta of London that is the Thames.” Professor Sir Mark Walport, CEO, UK Research & Innovation, travelling on the Thames Clipper, London


willow catkins with pollen
Willow catkins with pollen

“Spring is that warmth from the sun invigorating all the creatures around me, and lifting my seasonal affective disorder. I lie in bed early in the morning listening to robin challenging his territory, blackbird announcing his presence, the rooks & jackdaws fussing as they nest-build. Finally, the high pitch of long tailed tits blending with that harbinger, the chiffchaff calling it's backbeat to the rest. At night the sound of frogs, huffing of hedgehogs…and all from a suburban back garden. Spring is the moment you hear bees buzzing as you put the bins out, the call of a buzzard on a thermal overhead. All the world seems brighter & bursting with life and sound and movement. After the dark dismal days of winter, it is a lift of the spirit and soul.” Jan Baxter from Leicestershire


Spring sunset at White Park Bay
Spring sunset at White Park Bay by Vincent McAllister

“The Tide of Spring

New life abounds across the land in the surging tide of spring,
As mellow tones of joy ring out while the graceful blackbird sings.
The warming winds come dancing through the beeches infant leaves,
And newly blossomed cherry blooms cast scent upon the breeze.

Throughout the meadow grass is lush with buttercup entwined,
While beside the stream there are daffodils in regimented lines.
Along the hedgerow's primrose grow beneath the buzzard's flight,
As sleeping hedgehogs raise their heads to reap the spring delights.

This vibrant land exudes with life by creatures great and small,
From the sounds of gentle honeybees to the chilling vixen's call.
And all is well now winter's gone with the bitterness it brings,
All brushed aside by warmth and life in the surging tide of spring.”
Vincent McAllister from Antrim


 Hebrew Character Moth from FSC
Hebrew Character Moth from FSC

“This morning FSC staff at Head Office enjoyed seeing what moths we could find in the first moth trap of the season to mark the beginning of Spring. The moth trap was put out last night and this morning at 9 am we gathered to see what we could find in the morning sunshine. In total there was 51 moths of 8 different species, identified by FSC BioLinks Project Officer Charlie Bell. An example of moths spotted were Hebrew Character and Red Chestnut.” Mary Jones from Shropshire


Rose blooming, Copyright Poppy Heaton
 

“This morning mist glistens...
...wings of hope begin their beat,
rays of light are given...
...on new branches, life tweets
and to the sky petals reach....
....for this morning Spring has risen
from Winter's deep sleep...”
Poppy Heaton from Liverpool, Merseyside


Ardtornish Bay, Morvern
Ardtornish Bay, Morvern

“A bay on the Sound of Mull. Two blackbirds singing, one in a pine tree, one in a sycamore. All the wrack on the shore still beaten down in its winter state. A nuclear submarine slides down the Sound. A few minutes later its discreet little wash arrives and breaks on the sand, a single muffled burst of applause. The blackbirds sing and the oystercatchers stand hunched in the rocks. Spring? Not much.” Adam Nicholson from Argyll


Aircraft contrails over hills
Steve Tormey

“The darkness has lifted, the lands and skies and awaken to the risen sun and the picturesque sound of nature, alive and growing all around,
It's Spring! Again…” Steve Tormey from the Lake District, Cumbria


Avon Gorge from my bike this morning
Avon Gorge from my bike this morning

“On this the first day of spring, appropriately enough the first thing I heard was a blackbird “a blissful few minutes of calm before my daughter woke up and demanded our attention. Normally I'd be heading out on the train or in the car to work, but today I am working at the Bristol hub, so could cycle to work, through our local park with blossom on the trees, and following the Avon out to Leigh Woods. It's such a unique place, on the edge of the city and yet it feels wild somehow, with unique plants clinging to the edge of the rocks. The tide was ebbing, exposing the mud flats. Then a steep climb up through Leigh Woods, and a woodpecker hard at work as I fastened my bike up. A great start to my first day of spring. Now to work!” Adam Royle from Somerset


“On my early morning dog walk I sense the signs of Spring; I hear birdsong greeting the day, I feel the scratch of new growth of bramble overhanging the path, I smell the damp of the earth from a recent shower and see splashes of sunshine yellow from the bank of Primrose and Daffodils ahead. A beautiful way to start the day “welcome Springtime!”” Mayanne Wills from Devon


“Walking the dog last night, in the rain, he started at something on the track. Usually it's a squirrel or rabbit that's caught his attention, but last night the torchlight revealed a toad, gently lolloping along. Presumably it was making one of its first forays of the year, making its way to a breeding site in search of a mate. I watched it continue for a few minutes, entirely unbothered by my presence, making slow but inexorable progress towards its goal.” Jim Wright from North Yorkshire


Blossom and blue skies
Blossom and blue skies

“Blossom appearing in the hedgerows, blue skies. Spring arriving.” John Lawson from East Yorkshire


Flowers blooming
Felbrigg's Fireworks by Claire Hack

“Spring's fireworks bloom upwards, their dizzying scent lifting us all towards the sky, bringing smiles of delight from all who pass. Dancing in the sunshine under fickle spring clouds, in full voice they sing "come outside, explore, its BEAUTIFUL once more."” Clare Hack from Norfolk


Sun shining over an allotment
There's work to be done by Rebecca Bevan

“This morning in the woods, spring felt as joyful as ever. Wild garlic is carpeting the ground, little violets have appeared and the trees are fat with buds. Up on the common, the turf is still stunted by wind and trampling feet but amongst it I spied the shoots of innumerable species, poised to begin their ascent into meadow.

Here in the garden, my joy is laced with panic. Everywhere are jobs to do. The roses and fruit bushes are pruned and ready but the lawn needs cutting, the new veg bed is not dug, there are perennials to split and a flush of weeds across the borders. I need sun to garden but I fear how it leaps things forward, out of my control, and how it can harden the ground too soon.

I've been longing for winter to end but now I need more time.” Rebecca Bevan from Gloucestershire


“Spring, being out for a walk with the grandchildren seeing their faces full of wonderment as they feel the furry nests of ousts willow, see lambs tail catkins dancing in the breeze, and get sticky fingers on horsechestnut buds, new life bursting from the branches, their innocent new life bursting with energy.” Jenny Sambridge from Bishops Stortford in Herts


Jenny Adams from Cornwall
Jenny Adams from Cornwall

“Signs of the new season arrive early here in Cornwall. Camellias have been in flower since early February and the magnolia blooms began to open just a month later. Primroses and daffodils in the hedgerows are in full flush now as we approach the end of the month whilst the miniature lilac in my garden is already in leaf. The blackthorn blossoms gleam White and birds are busy collecting nest material. The handsome cock pheasant who has escaped the gun gathers his harem around him in the garden, feeding on sunflower hearts hurled out from the hanging feeders by frenzied finches. Bluebells are in flower whilst the wild garlic in the woods begins to scent the air.” Jenny Adams from Cornwall


“The Magnolia Stellata is coming into blossom slowly this year, its white buds unfurling downwards from the top of the small tree at glacial pace. Will they survive a late frost? Much of the rest of the garden is dark green and damp from several days' rain; the miniature daffodils a defiant yellow beneath the dripping acer. Over the fence, my neighbour's camellia is in full bloom; its opulent pink flowers a cascade of colour. Ours flowered very early, during February, and is now a mass of glossy green leaves.  The lighter lilac leaves and buds provide a contrast to the darker foliage around them. This old tree nearly died a couple of years ago, but we saved one small trunk and it is flourishing. I planted a Jasmine along the fence behind it; its spindly green shoots are emerging through the lilac's branches as though gasping for air.” Juliet Goldbart from Manchester


Ian Tattum from London
Ian Tattum from London

“The bud bursts with fresh hawthorn leaf. A blossom on the winter thorn. It reminds me of spring to come and springs past. Their scent sweet and sharp.” Ian Tattum from London


“Yesterday (19 March) I went out into my garden and was confronted by the sight, ten feet away, of a pair of pheasants mating, facing directly at me. I stopped, they finished. She shook her feathers, and they both walked away. Jack Hargreaves eat your heart out.” Adam Maasingham from Appledore in Devon


“End of long stint of gale force  winds and incessant rainshowers, a lull of quiet Sunday sounds from street and sun strongly streaming through the window catching the seedlings waiting for enough warmth to take their place in the ground.  In the meantime they live with us, cheek by jowl, in the sitting room. I love the burgeoning courgette, marrow and squash plants sturdy and robust looking compared to the wispy onions and leeks. Three days to go.

"Everyone met through my gardening work, worker or hobbyist gardens for individual reasons. What are mine? It is involvement in that act of growth far larger than I am. Therein lies my feeling for Spring. Inclusion in that act again after a half-year's deprivation; goodbye low temperatures and light levels now sowing and planting for that better crop or maybe a bigger or brighter flower.” Rosanno Cavallo from Beckenham in London


“A rumour in the reeds - the whisper of a softer wind - I caught it.  Or thought I did.” Gwyneth Thomas-Marison from Borth in Ceredigion


“Tiptoeing on the patio, hoovering up seed for breakfast, a family of muntjac deer two metres away. A treecreeper creeps up the tree behind. The grey squirrels scavenge and scramble up, down and around as the sun starts to sneak a peek through to start the day.” Kathryn Leigh from Elveden in Suffolk


“Columba Rd Flower Market E2
Narcissists and tulips trip spring in
Too early
Scent, Mimosa,
Spy Kangaroo paw.
Scattered
Tourists brush hibernating locals.
Continentals admire Banksy, banksia, buskers,
Drinking coffee in Campania,
befriending Bohemia
Unconsciously
Awaiting the unfurling of the peonies...”
Anu Kumar from London


“Seeing male lapwings performing their spectacular territorial display flight, tumbling and falling, seemingly uncontrollably, like pieces of paper flapping about in the wind, and hearing their distinctive, onomatopoeic 'peewit' call, is a sure sign that spring is on its way to the Yorkshire Dales. When I first began exploring the Yorkshire Dales, the lapwing (along with the curlew, golden plover, dipper, wheatear and others) was among the first non-garden birds I learned to identify. The dramatic decline in the lapwing population in recent years is now being tackled through conservation schemes, the introduction of more sympathetic farming methods, and changes in land management practices. I hope and trust that these strategies prove successful, for the first sight, on my way to work as editor of the The Countryman, of lapwings congregrating on damp farmland alongside Chelker Reservoir between Ilkley and Skipton, is a major milestone in my 'natural' year.” Mark Whitely from Skipton in Yorkshire


“A spring full of nest building.  Industrious birds are creating the nests which will support their new families.  I am filled with delight watching a wren hopping up above my front door with twigs and moss; maybe I will have baby wrens to watch.  I am excited to see a buzzard circling high in the tree tops with sticks in its beak for a nest somewhere I can't spot.  The pigeons building a nest in the bush outside my office window; does anyone else notice or is it just me?  Who else sees the little nests in the train stations?  I love to look for them.  And finally the sight of rooks swirling around their nests these past few windy days, although perhaps not just a spring sight, has filled me with joy, I love them swirling but also just chilling in their nests as I drive below to work.” Helen Turner from Normanton-on-soar in Nottinghamshire


“Forest it is beautiful as the season begins to warm
The trees awake, the blossoms bloom and everything feels new
Rain falls sometimes gently, sometimes it falls hard
The beautiful place of Hatfield is a treasure to behold.”
Talitha Ryan at Hatfield Forest in Essex


Further entrants will be appearing on this page throughout the day, later to be turned into a proper eBook.

Make your submission at: www.ahrc.ukri.org/spring-diary (not Explorer browser supported) or read our news item entitled "Capturing the arrival of spring in a nationwide crowd-sourced nature diary".

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