Introduction

Wild Time

Spring

Feel the beat of spring

Be dazzled by bluebells

Harken to a bittern's boom

Seek a swooping sand martin

Pen poetry among daffodils

Sway with dancing grebes

Get sent packing by a grouse

Take a ringside seat

Track down a tiger

Watch a rare sky dance

Chatter with a natterjack

Enjoy the great rush north

Look up in awe

Shine a light on newts

Eavesdrop on a nightingale

Go spotting early orchids

Follow a sat-tagged osprey

Gape at hunting hobbies

Nurse a passion for purple

Scour riverbanks for Ratty

Tip-toe among fritillaries

 

Summer

Hail the success of avocets

Go batty as night falls

Bewitched by a buttercup

Play the summertime blues

Thrill to damsels and dragonflies

Go after Dartford warbler

Make a splash with gannets

Stake out a badger sett

Hurrah for the king

Rejoice in Manxie's chorus

Delight in a glow worm

Fall for THE fastest bird

Be spellbound by orchids

Journey to a seabird city

Exalt at a skylark's song

Party with the puffins

Lounge with a lizard

Haunt a churring nightjar

Head seawards on safari

Discover the rare spoonbill

Join the toadlet exodus

Spot our largest butterfly

Wear a hat for terns

Hunt woodland beauties

 

Autumn

Admire our eager beavers

Marvel at migration

Forage for Autumn's bounty

Go nuts over squirrel nutkin

Ramble through purple

Gaze in awe at reds' rut

Wander in the wild wood

Cheer on the salmon run

Try a wild goose chase

Foray for fungi

 

Winter

Pay homage to the Russians

Go on a winter ghost hunt

Wonder at wintering waders

Fall in love with a seal pup

Hear Britain's tallest bird

Revel in roosting wagtails

Kiss beneath mistletoe

'Ooh' & 'aah' at murmurations

Lie in wait for an otter

Rock 'n' roll with geology

Wrap up for a raptor roost

Explore the wild world through the seasons with our Wonderful Wildlife Experiences! Follow the links from this page to plan your wild year ahead...

Vote for your favourite wildlife experience online – the results will be published in 2017

As winter wanes and spring starts to unfold, our exciting new seasonal guide offers a perfect opportunity to plan a ‘wild’ year ahead.

For those who have ever wondered when and where to glory in the beauty of the rare swallowtail butterfly or to cheer at a salmon’s leap; for those who pine to see a puffin but don’t know where to head and when; or for those who want to spot an otter, osprey or orchid but don’t know how, The Wildlife Trusts’ seasonal guide to magical encounters with the wild offers answers to these and so much more.

Vote for your favourite wildlife experience online – the results will be published in 2017.

Now is the perfect moment to make plans and venture outdoors to see what’s sky-dancing, swooping or singing during half-term and beyond. Our guide homes in on the charismatic, the mysterious and the shimmering gorgeous – from gannets to glow worms, newts to nightingales, and bluebells to butterflies – and shows you how to get closer to the wild.

The Wildlife Trusts are uniquely placed to advise on the where and the when to watch wildlife – we care for more than 2,300 wild havens across the UK and host over 11,000 events every year bringing people closer to nature.

Vote for your favourite wildlife experience

We'd like to know about your favourite wildlife experience from our list of over 60 - and also a bit about the special moments that you had along the way. Please cast your vote - there's a voting button on each experience page - and tweet about your wild adventure using #lovewildlife. Share the wonder!

Click on a season to get started

Spring

Summer
Swallowtail butterfly

Autumn
Red squirrel

Winter

Simon Barnes on discovering the Wild World

Every year follows the same pattern but every day is different to the one before and the one after: that’s the meaning of Wild Time.

If you want to understand the wild world you must first understand time.

Wild Time.

As you travel through each year the world about you changes from day to day. You can tell where you are in your annual journey without needing to feel the temperature or count the hours of daylight: the briefest glance at any wild place tells you all you need to know.  It’s possible to do the same trick just by listening.

Every year follows the same pattern but every day is different to the one before and the one after: that’s the meaning of Wild Time.  So the birds sing out, the butterflies dance, the world starts to shut down again and then at the coldest time it’s all about holding on and trying to survive.  Or is it?  The most forbidding time of the year is when it all starts to begin again: and you can feel in your bones the mighty rhythm, the great four-four beat of the seasons.

Grasp the notion of Wild Time, and you begin to get a handle on the way the Wild World works: and as you do so, you begin to realise that you're a part of it too. Here are many, many ways in which you can get closer to the Wild World than you ever dreamed. 


With our thanks to the following photographers who have kindly allowed the use of their wonderful images throughout this guide. Credits: bottlenose dolphin © Sarah Perry, boxing brown hares © Alex Appleby, swallowtail butterfly © Chris Mills, red squirrel © Jon Hawkins/Surrey Hills Photography, short-eared owl © Amy Lewis. Wildlife experiences text written by Philip Precey with contributions from all 47 of The Wildlife Trusts across the UK.