Seeing the wood for the trees

Monday 14th April 2014

Bowdown Woods, photographer: Rob Appleby

Search for secrets this Woodland Wildlife Weekend: 19/20 April 2014

Be amazed by a walk through a wood during our Woodland Wildlife Weekend. Bluebells, orange-tip butterflies, red campion, the chiming of chiffchaffs and the fruity-rooty-tooty of blackcaps - all of these are treasured signs of spring in a UK wood. But here too are many less obvious plants and creatures: smaller, shyer, nocturnal perhaps, or even underground.

The poet, John Clare, wrote about one of spring’s greatest subtleties:

“The hazel blooms in threads of crimson hue

Peep through the swelling buds and look for spring”

What will be yours?

As well as celebrating woodland’s showy species this spring, how about looking for the quiet ones, the little grey ones, the ones that hide under rocks? They too are part of the glorious wave of life and energy that pours through a temperate wood in spring and, if only our eyes, ears and hearts are open to them.

Top 10 tips to celebrate The Wildlife Trusts’ Woodland Wildlife Weekend 19-20 April:

1. Read all about our secret woodland wildlife, from moschatel to mosses.

2. Find out about different kinds of woodland

3. Once inspired, set out on your own woodland walk – choose one here.

4. Hone your senses: close your eyes and listen to the woodpecker, look into lichen with a magnifier, then take a wander and get lost!

5. Enjoy places to see bluebells

6. Take some spotter sheets with you to help explore woodland wildlife

7. Watch out for early woodland butterflies such as brimstone and speckled wood, comma, small tortoiseshell, peacock and red admirals. See our Great Places to see Woodland Butterflies.

8. Look for woodland wildlife using a children’s guide

9. Go to one of our woodland events – many with an Easter theme…

10. Or stay at home, take a woodland spin, reach for the John Clare anthology The Wood is Sweet (beautifully illustrated by Carry Akroyd) or Roger Deakins’ classic Wildwood - a journey through trees…