At last, the temperature seems to be climbing slowly. The grass is growing, rather less slowly. And Easter is just around the corner.
BBC’s Spring Watch is back for a one hour Easter special on 25th March (BBC2, 9pm). In the meantime, there’s lots going on locally.
Lydiard Park will host a relaxed Signs of Spring Walk on Saturday 26th March (11am to 1pm, cost £3.00). Further information from Lydiard Park on 01793 465270.
Wiltshire Wildlife Trust are holding a number of events next weekend. Planned activities include bird watching at one of the South Cerney Lakes (Saturday 19th March) and a Meadow Birds Walk and Talk at Blakehill Farm nature reserve, just outside Cricklade (Sunday 20th March). Further information from Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s website.
Alternatively, you can visit Blakehill Farm nature reserve and use one of the Trust’s reserve leaflets to guide you around. Stoke Common Meadows, just north of Purton, are a mass of wild flowers in the spring and summer.
Wiltshire and Swindon Biological Records Centre offers advice on how to spot, and record wildlife. There are also guides to spring woodland butterflies and flowers to download. Useful for getting younger members of the family involved.
Those with smaller children may want to visit one of the local children’s farms, at Roves Farm (Sevenhampton) or Farmer Gow’s (Faringdon). Further afield, in Guiting Power, Adam Henson’s Cotswold Farm Park offers the opportunity to see live lambing after school (Wednesday 23 March and Thursday 24 March, from 6pm until 8pm).
Of course, living in Lydiard, there may be no need to venture further afield. There’s a wealth of wildlife in our own gardens and hedgerows.
We regularly see deer, robins, blue tits, blackbirds, sparrows, woodpeckers, chaffinches and thrushes. Recently, I’ve been lucky enough to glimpse a jay and to watch a barn owl swoop over our back lawn at dusk. (Inspired by the RSPB’s Big Garden Bird Watch, I’ve become something of a closet twitcher).
With the warmer weather, now could also be the time to don your boots and start exploring some of our local footpaths and bridleways. If you have children in tow, there is a helpful Signs of Spring Spotter which you can download from Wildlife Watch.
Otherwise, why not just enjoy a gentle ramble and welcome the harbingers of summer?