Spring has officially sprung. Whether you’ve been able to go outside at all this week or not, we wanted to keep you updated on nature’s new arrivals and the things our Rangers have seen blooming all over the Forest. Please let us know what you’ve seen on any wanders that you’ve had this week in the comments below and please make sure that you are staying 2m away from people when walking outside. We are lucky to have such beautiful countryside around us in Bedfordshire, so while we are still allowed to go out and get fresh air, let’s make sure we do so responsibly!

Flowers and plants

This week our Rangers have seen white dead nettle, cowslips in Bramble Meadow at the Millennium Country Park (see below) and lots of colts foot and blackthorn, pretty much everywhere they’ve been.

primrose, blackthorn flowers, and cowslip

Primrose, blackthorn flowers and cowslip

We’ve seen violets and marsh marigolds over at Conquest Wood and some white violets around Stewartby Lake as well as flowering ash trees. Forget me nots and common comfrey are beginning to flower - watch this space!

violet, colts foot and ash flower

Violet, colts foot and flowering ash

We’ve got primroses at both the MCP and Rectory Wood but we aren’t entirely sure of their origins, as people do tend to plant random bulbs in the countryside (especially daffodils) - word to the wise, please don’t do that.

Insects and animals

It’ll soon be butterfly season and we’ve so far spotted brimstones and peacocks in the Millennium Country Park, plus lots of bumble bees. A stoat was spotted near our Barn the other day, but sadly we didn’t get a photo.

Bird wise, it’s been an exciting week - the first sand martin was spotted in Bedfordshire and within days we had 12 in our nesting wall in the Wetlands (see video below). Hopefully this number will grow in the coming weeks - we have 88 holes in the wall, partially covered in sand to replicate the cliff faces where they breed and nest.

The chiff chaffs have arrived (and you'll hear them everywhere very soon) - they are the first migrant birds to reach our shores (though sometimes you see a few over winter) and we think we’ve got about 8 in the MCP currently (see video below). 

We’ve also got some great footage of a treecreeper (see below) doing their distinctive creep up one of the trees in the MCP.

We’ll be back next week with more sightings at our woodlands - 7 days is a long time in the natural world so hopefully we’ll see a lot more migrant birds arriving, butterflies coming out and flowers blooming with the anticipated good weather.

Make sure you share anything that you see this week in the comments below, and sign up to our newsletter to hear more from us in the coming weeks about the natural happenings in the Forest.