Feb 28 2022

Can you help us with Nature’s Calendar?

You may have seen a few articles in the national news recently about signs of spring appearing earlier, and the link between this and climate change. The research on this, carried out at the University of Cambridge, can be found here – and you’ll see that our very own Nature’s Calendar work was integral to this study. Did you know that you can help add to this data, and through this help researchers monitor the impact of climate change on our wildlife?


Nature’s Calendar – mapping changes through the seasons


Nature’s Calendar is a way for us to track the effect of weather and climate change on wildlife.  We look at specific species and the seasonal changes we might see in them – so, for example, budburst for tree species; nesting for bird species; or flowering. Contributors across the UK note when they first see these changes in their area, and through this we can build a database of information which allows us to monitor whether the date at which these changes are happening is altering year on year.


The calendar of species we record is here .


Can you add to our data?


Many of you will, in your volunteer roles, regularly visit one of our woods. This means that you are in a perfect position to look out for things such as leaves appearing on trees, wildflowers appearing, and birds nesting. Pick a couple of species to monitor and keep an eye on them on your walks – choose a route you do regularly. It’s easy to record your sightings on the Nature’s Calendar page – just add them here. Any information you can add relating to an area you regularly visit will add to our knowledge of seasonal changes across the country.


If your volunteer role doesn’t involve regularly visiting a wood, you could consider keeping your eye out on any regular walk you do, or even your garden – so long as you visit or monitor regularly enough to be able to notice change.


What to look out for in March


March is a great month to take a closer look at your local woodland! Keep an eye out for leaves appearing on alder, field maple, horse chestnut, rowan and sycamore; first flowering of bluebells and wood anemone; arrival of chiff chaff and wheatear; and blackbirds feeding their young. It’s also the month where you may see your first red admiral butterfly and, if there’s a pond, your first tadpoles!

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