Early spring offers a fascinating glimpse into nature’s awakening in the UK. Here’s a list of things to look out for during March. Observe nature’s whispers to help you slow down and reconnect with the natural world around you. As I get older, I find myself wanting to spend more time outdoors and appreciate the changing seasons.

Awakenings in the Natural World

•  While December and January mark the traditional mating season for foxes, their kits typically emerge in March. The vixen stays underground while her mate hunts and brings in food.

•  The haunting hoots of owls, particularly long-eared and tawny owls, can be heard at dusk as they hunt for voles and mice emerging from their winter hibernation. Listen closely, especially near hedgerows and fields.

•  On wet evenings, look out for newts on the move – whereas frogs hibernate in ponds, newts have to migrate there.

• While some mammals like hedgehogs, dormice, and bats, remain tucked away until spring, others like hares, voles, shrews, badgers, and squirrels, become increasingly active. Look out for signs of their foraging and playful chases.

• Birds such as robins, blackbirds, and song thrushes are starting to sing and build their nests in preparation for the breeding season. You may also see some migratory birds returning from warmer climates.

• The days are getting longer, and the weather is starting to warm up, so you can start to see spring flowers blooming. These include daffodils, primroses, and violets.

• Mountain Hares, native to the Highlands of Scotland, shed their white winter coats for camouflage against the emerging greenery.

• Brown hares are famous for their energetic behaviour; these ‘Mad March Hares’ are known to ‘box’ frantically with one another. The best places to look are open grassy or arable fields, particularly near woodland fringes or decent hedgerows where hares can find shelter. If you happen to find some leverets (baby hares) alone in a field, be careful not to touch them, as leaving your scent on them may lead to abandonment.

• Deer herds shed their thick winter coats, revealing sleek summer fur. Stags may spar for dominance as they prepare for the breeding season in the coming months.

• Comma Butterfly can be spotted as early as March, their upper wings are a rich mix of oranges and browns.  Like brimstones, peacock butterflies, and small tortoiseshells, they hibernate as adults – warm spring sunshine brings them out again.

 

Giving Birds a Helping Hand:

  • Nest Box Essentials: From February to August, your nest box can become a bustling nursery, offering nesting space for parents to raise their chicks. During the colder months (September to January), the same box can provide much-needed shelter and protection from harsh weather and hungry predators.

 

Preparing your garden 

Mid-March marks the arrival of spring, bringing with it longer days and warmer temperatures – the perfect time to get your garden ready for the season, here are a few ideas:

Start seeds:
indoors for vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, and herbs.

Prune trees and shrubs:
such as Roses, to encourage healthy growth.

Clear debris and weeds:
Clear them from your garden beds and add compost to enrich the soil.

Plan your spring garden layout:
Research new plants to add diversity. Create bug-friendly areas in sheltered corners.

 

Natural Solutions for Slug Problems:

Slugs can be a real nuisance for gardeners, but there are ways to deter them without resorting to harsh chemicals.

Sprinkle natural deterrents like crushed eggshells, sharp grit, or natural wool pellets around your prized plants. Slugs dislike these textures and will avoid crossing them.

Used coffee grounds are another effective slug deterrent.

 

Change in the Air

The lack of a cold winter and snow where we live in London has been even more notable this year. But it’s certainly been wet and warm. While mild temperatures might seem pleasant (especially with costly bills to heat our homes), they disrupt the natural balance and impact ecosystems dependent on winter’s chill.

Early-blooming daffodils and primroses are a beautiful sight, but they disrupt the intricate relationship between plants and pollinators, potentially jeopardising food chains.

These unusual patterns are a stark reminder of climate change’s impact on our environment. Rising global temperatures alter weather patterns, disrupt natural cycles, and force both flora and fauna to adapt. We are witnessing, first-hand, the shifting of the wheel of the year.

 

What about us? What can we do?

Become keen observers:

Pay attention to the subtle changes in nature and document them. Share your observations with local science projects to contribute valuable data. From the countryside to cities, The Woodland Trust cares for thousands of woods throughout the UK, with breathtaking wildlife and miles and miles of woodland trails: all free for you to visit. Find a wood.

Work towards change:

Support organizations working to protect our environment and demand sustainable practices from businesses and governments. Fields in Trust champions and supports our UK parks and green spaces by protecting them for people to enjoy in perpetuity. Because once they are lost, they are lost forever.

Embrace sustainable living:

Reduce your carbon footprint, choose local and organic products, and minimize waste. Every action, however small, contributes to a healthier planet.

So, step outside, breathe in the fresh air, and immerse yourself in the wonders that lie just beyond your doorstep. Whether it’s the vibrant display of wildflowers, the energetic songbirds returning from their winter journeys, or the subtle changes in the landscape, there’s always something new to discover in nature.

Our planet and its creatures hold infinite wisdom. By caring for nature and listening closely, we can learn to live in harmony with its rhythm and protect its wonders for all time.

 

Free Audiobooks for Nature Loving Kids

The creatures on Infinity have a secret to share with the world, and you can download part 1 of our award-winning children’s dramatised audiobook, ‘Lost on Infinity’ FREE here

We regularly post on our social media pages (@RockfordsRockOpera) about new (and old) biomimicry discoveries. Follow us and enjoy the many ways in which nature inspires us.

 

Teacher resources

To hear our Lost on Infinity ecological audiobook, simply click here or if you’d like to sample the first two chapters along with free lesson plans and teaching resources, you can find them here. Plus loads of free lesson plans on extinction, biomimicry, and more.