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04 06/04/2018

Signs of Spring

It may be hard to believe spring has arrived with this unpredictable weather! But spring is one of our favourite times of the year as the days start to get longer, flowers and trees start to bloom and UK wildlife starts to emerge again after the winter months.

Chester Zoo’s Wildlife Connections Project Officer, Adam Caris, tells us more about what this time of year means to him, the incredible wildlife you’ll start to see and the difference you can make to give local wildlife a helping hand.

"Is spring really here now? For me this time of year is not just about dates in the calendar or when the clocks change. It’s much more about signs of growth and the change we can sense and see all around us. Different people will focus on different things and this can be a really personal thing; depending on our own individual connections to wildlife and nature.

"For me important signs of spring are seeing snowdrops and bluebells for the first time, seeing migratory birds arrive, like sand Martins and swallows; and blossoms on the trees when I go to work. But I truly know spring is here when I taste my first bit of freshly sprouted wild garlic! This happens at a slightly different time each year, the study of which is called phenology. Looking for and recording these signs of spring is a fun activity that can generate some really interesting and important data which we need to help scientists identify which specific species and habitats need our help the most. It can also be a great way for you to better connect with your local wildlife and appreciate the diversity of habitat in your own local area. 

"Spring is a time when people can really get enthused about getting outside into their gardens and their local parks and countryside. It’s a great time to get involved in activities and projects that are fun, as well as help our local wildlife and that will keep us connected to our outdoor spaces throughout the rest of this year and beyond. Spring is also a great time to plant and start planning summer activities and events.

"Recently I have been running a number of different Wildlife Connections courses and workshops where people have built their own bird box and then taken them away to put up in their own gardens and community areas. It’s great to hear people telling me how excited they are about seeing birds interacting with these boxes, with some even being seen arriving with building materials and taking up residence! Helping our local wildlife really has always given me a buzz and I am so excited to find out that so many other people share my passion and get the same feelings!

"Having now been Chester Zoo’s Wildlife Connections Project Officer for three months I am thrilled by how many people are out there already acting for wildlife now and how many more people want to help make a difference.

"Positively acting for wildlife can be easy and I know from experience that we can all do something, no matter how small, and share the good feelings and the warm inner glow that comes from doing something positive.

"Let’s spread the word! The more people that act means that there will be more great spaces and habitats for our wildlife, and therefore more wildlife for everyone to see, help and be inspired by! Let’s use the enthusiasm of spring to motivate us, and our friends and families, to do something positive and Act for Wildlife.

"Our wildlife is under every increasing pressures and challenges and they need our help. We need to be the change we want to see, so join us in making Wildlife Connections."

Take a look at our guides and resources here to find out what actions you can take today to help our precious UK wildlife.  Don’t forget to record the actions you take here, we’d love to hear from you.  If you want to learn more about British wildlife, recording wildlife and why it's so important, then sign up to our FREE Wildlife Recording Masterclass here.

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