A walk through a wood in late April or early May: bluebells, orange-tip butterflies, red campion, the chiming of chiffchaffs and the fruity-rooty-tooty of blackcaps. All are treasured signs of spring in a UK wood. But here too are many less obvious creatures: smaller, shyer, nocturnal perhaps, or even underground.
This spring, as well as celebrating woodland’s showy species, 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 our eyes, ears and hearts are open to them, our own relationship with woods is more profound by far.
If the humans all left, much of our landscape would be woodland again within 50 years, bursting, bulging and bustling with all the species which love woods.
Woodland is home to more species than any other terrestrial habitat in the UK. This is partly because it is the most structurally diverse, with microhabitats from the topsoil to the leafy canopy of oaks, ashes and beeches, and partly because it is the natural habitat of most of the UK.
Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image