Enjoying Spring in Dorset

Everyone gets a bit of a Spring in their step with the lighter evenings and warmer days enticing us out of our winter hibernation. And of course it’s the same for nature too!

Spring Lambs (c) David FitzJohn

When you are outdoors over the next month, slow down and take a closer look to see what’s unfurling. Hedgerows never disappoint, not only do they burst into bloom early but they are a great home for wildlife.

Look out for the white blossom of Blackthorn – it always flowers before the leaves show (unlike hawthorn which sends out its leaves first then flowers later in May). At the base of the hedge you’ll find the heart shaped leaves of Celandine popping through, and if it’s a warm Spring maybe their bright star-like yellow flowers too.

Listen out for the chatter of birds – the dawn chorus will start up tentatively in March, with Robins, Sparrows and Wrens all defending their hedgerow territories with the loudest of songs. And of course look out for hedgehogs coming out of hibernation too!

Community Tree Fund

We launched the Dorset Community Tree Fund this winter, to support communities with plans for planting and caring for trees in their patch. If you don’t have many hedgerows in your area at the moment, get in touch as now is a great time to start making plans for planting later in the year.

Poole Harbour (c) Heather Snow

Welcome Back

If you saw Winterwatch in January, you’ll know that Poole Harbour is a brilliant place to spot birds returning back to Britain from warmer climes. Now is still a good time to witness these remarkable journeys. Some birds touch down temporarily to refuel before heading further north while others will make their home here.

Head over to RSPB Arne to use the fully accessible bird hides or do some bird spotting from home with the help of the Birds of Poole Harbour live webcams.

Durlston Country Park, guillemot gathering (c) Heather Snow, Dorset National Landscape

Springtime Events

Durlston Country Park near Swanage is a great place to go if you are ready to shrug off winter and tentatively embrace the spring.

Rangers will be running guided walks ‘Signs of Spring’ and ‘Spring has Sprung’ and Tramper mobility scooters are always available to hire if a walks feels like a step too far. Or perhaps the new Wild Walking Book Club or ‘Bonkers Bunnies’ Children’s Activity Trail will put a spring in your step?! Find out more

Spring lambs (c) Rachel Janes

Nature Buddies

Our Stepping into Nature team certainly haven’t been hibernating this winter – they’ve been busy bringing existing community groups of people living with health conditions and farmers together to trial visits to farms this year.

If you know, or are part of a group, that require additional support to enjoy the countryside and would like to be involved in this project then get in touch with the Stepping into Nature team.