June is the perfect month to connect with nature and create lasting memories with your family. Whether you’re exploring woodlands, gardening, or participating in environmental events, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Here’s a guide to making the most of June in the UK.

 

Changes in Nature

Blooming Flowers and Lush Landscapes

June sees gardens and parks come alive with vibrant colours. Roses, peonies, and lavender are in full bloom, creating a feast for the eyes and a haven for pollinators. Elder is in bloom now and is a magnet for hoverflies, and the sweet scent of honeysuckle is particularly prominent in the evenings.

Forests are at their greenest. Ferns uncurl, and the undergrowth is a carpet of bluebells and wild garlic.

Animal Behaviour:

Deer

Deer are particularly active in June. This is the fawning season, so keep an eye out for does with their adorable, spotted fawns in meadows and woodland edges.

Bird Activity

Birds are busy raising their young in June. In gardens, you may spot fledglings learning to fly and forage. Starlings, for example, can be seen teaching their young to navigate bird feeders. These fluffy, brown youngsters rely on their parents for food and guidance. House sparrows, often fearless, jostle for space even when larger birds like jackdaws are present. You might also see young robins with their speckled breasts and new blackbirds exploring the garden.

Bird Spotting

Swallows, house martins and sand martins are all fast-flying summer visitors to the UK. Swallows return to their nests in June. They use mud, often found after heavy rain, to strengthen their homes, preparing for their new broods.

June is an excellent month for spotting ospreys, along with a variety of warblers and birds of prey.

It is also the peak of the cuckoo breeding season in the UK. Cuckoos are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of over 100 bird species, including redstart, brambling, robin, and pied wagtails. Despite this diversity, these species make up only about 0.5% of all bird species.

Hedgehogs

Baby hedgehogs are called hoglets and they are born in June/July. Hedgehogs are very active now and will appreciate any food and water you can leave in your garden. Meat-based wet dog or cat foods, or dry cat/kitten food is a good option. Milk and cheese are not good for them. https://www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk/ do great work raising awareness of the practical steps we can take to help reverse the decline of hedgehogs in the wild, improve their welfare and safeguard their future.

Insect Life

June brings an abundance of insects: moths, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, wasps, bees, damselflies, and more. Grasshoppers, for instance, serenade us with their daytime songs, while crickets take over at dusk. Listen carefully to their unique tunes and try to spot them in grasslands and woodlands.

Toadlets

Millions of little baby frogs and toads, no bigger than your finger tip, will be leaving lakes, ponds, streams and ditches this month to take their first steps on dry land. These tiny creatures, having transformed from vegetarian tadpoles to meat-eating toads, leave their birth waters en masse. Be cautious when walking through damp grass as thousands may be hiding there!

Bats

Bat pups are mainly born this month, so they’re pretty busy hunting for insects to provide food for their family. Spot them early evening, you’re most likely to see them in woods, and near rivers or ponds, at dusk.

 

Celestial Sights

Summer Solstice

Summer solstice will be celebrated from the evening of Thursday 20th June to the morning of Friday 21st June.  The solstices and equinoxes are astronomical events that divide the year into four equal parts, each representing one of the four seasons. The Summer Solstice is always the longest day of the year, no matter which side of the equator you live upon. Sunrise and sunset will be live-streamed on the official English Heritage YouTube channel.

 

Stargazing

June offers (mostly) clear skies for stargazing. Look out for the constellation Lyra and the bright star Vega. If you are lucky enough to find a place with low light pollution, you can try to find the Milky Way, it takes about 15 minutes or so for your eyes to adjust. Look to the southeast because it stretches right across the sky to the west.

Garden Activities

June is a busy month for gardeners. Here are a few notes:

Flower Care

  • Empty, mix, and refill compost bins to speed up decomposition
  • Check hedges and shrubs for nesting birds before you start any trimming or pruning, so you don’t disturb them
  • Water your houseplants more regularly as the temperatures warm and light levels increase. Check the soil before watering. You can put them outside for the summer in a warm, sheltered spot to enjoy the fresh air and extra light.
  • Ensure houseplants are not getting scorched by summer sunshine. Either move further from the window or choose house plants that will thrive in a sunny spot

Wildlife-Friendly Gardening

  • Build a Bug Hotel: Gather natural materials like sticks, pine cones, and straw to create a cosy habitat for insects.
  • Plant a Bee-Friendly Garden: Choose flowers like lavender, foxglove, and borage to attract bees and other pollinators.
  • Create a Butterfly Feeder: Make a simple butterfly feeder using a shallow dish filled with sugar water or fruit.
  • Install a Bird Bath: Provide a water source for birds to drink and bathe in, helping them stay cool and hydrated.
  • Grow Herbs: Plant herbs such as basil, mint, and rosemary for both culinary use and to attract beneficial insects.
  • Manage Slugs Naturally: Use protective barriers, trapping, and plant selection to manage slugs without harming the environment.

 

Events in June:

Dive into Nature Challenge – throughout June

Join the ’30 Days Wild’ for the month of June. It’s the UK’s biggest nature challenge, run by The Wildlife Trusts. It challenges people of all ages to connect with nature every single day and explore nature through daily activities like birdwatching, hiking, and nature crafts. You can get lots of ideas on the Wildlife Trusts website.

March for Nature on June 22nd 

Participate in the Restore Nature Now march on June 22nd to raise awareness about environmental conservation. It’s a great way to teach kids about the importance of protecting our planet. People will be gathering at Park Lane, London W1K, between midday and 1pm on Saturday 22nd June 2024. The natural world is in trouble, and we need to take action. There will be family friendly performance art, sculptures, singing, and more for added entertainment for our marchers. Come along and join us!

World Environment Day – June 5th

Celebrate World Environment Day on June 5th. Participate in community clean-ups, plant trees, and educate your children about sustainable living. #GenerationRestoration

“We cannot turn back time, but we can grow forests, revive water sources, and bring back soils. We are the generation that can make peace with land.”  https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/

World Oceans Day – June 8th

We need a healthy ocean for a healthy climate, and vice versa, and we need significantly stronger local, national, and international action from both government and corporate leaders. Discover Ways to Take Action in your community and visit their World Oceans Day website.

June is here, and nature is calling. Get outside and explore!

 

Rockford’s Rock Opera: Your Nature Audio Guide:

For even more exploration of the natural world, tune in to the “Stories, Science, and Secrets” podcast. So, join us as we delve into the fascinating world of biomimicry and the inspiring ways science learns from nature’s genius.

Download our FREE lesson plans and slides about Extinction, Biomimicry and more here.