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Exploring Our Woodlands

April 2009

Muddy knees, bumblebees and anemones!

Posted by Gareth Bonello on 9 April 2009
Wood Anemones at St Fagans

After a prolonged and cold winter I am sure that many of you are as relieved as I am that spring is finally here! Although it is now the start of April, the early signs of spring have been with us for a while. This March was the driest in Wales since 2002 and almost everywhere in the UK had higher than average levels of sunshine. This resulted in an explosion of colour as the woods have blossomed with flowers such as lesser celandines, wood anemones and primroses. Bumblebees too have woken up from their winter sleep and emerged from burrows below ground to begin collecting pollen and nectar to feed the colony.

Throughout March we ran activities at St Fagans encouraging you to get involved in bee conservation. Over 400 visitors planted native British wildflowers to attract bees and butterflies and I am happy to report that they are doing very well! If you want to know more about bee conservation why not visit the Save Our Bees website?

A Song Thrush sits on her nest safely hidden in a Holly bush

A quick trip down to the local park or wood will tell you that the birds are in full swing at the moment. Our songbirds are all pairing up and nesting at this time of year. Most have struggled through the harsh British winter but not all. Chiffchaff arrive on our shores in early March from Southern Europe and North Africa. Their distinctive two-note 'chiff-chaff' call can be heard echoing around woodlands, parks and gardens as males compete for females and territory. Next time you're out and about why not see if you can hear one or why not come along to our Dawn Chorus Walk on May the 3rd?


A bright carpet of Wood Anemones on the forest floor

We have plenty of activities coming up this spring, with Compost Awareness Week taking centre stage in early May and signs of spring during the May half term. Visit the events page for more details. In the meantime feel free to let me know what spring wonders you've seen recently in the comments box below - any bluebells yet?

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