Judith Garforth of the Woodland Trust writes:
Have you seen a snowdrop yet this year?
If you enjoy watching the seasons change, and are looking forward to spring, you can help the Woodland Trust and become a Nature’s Calendar recorder.
Follow these three easy steps to take part in the Nature’s Calendar citizen science project:
- Choose a location that you visit regularly (at least once or twice a week). This could be your garden, your local park or woodland, some trees that you pass on your walk to work, your favourite dog walking route, or even the birds that you see from your window.
- Keep a look out for spring signs in your location, for example snowdrops flowering, budburst on trees, swallows arriving and frogs spawning. You can look out for as many or as few spring signs as you like to, and there are lots to choose from. Take a look at the full list of things to look out for.
- Record the date that you first see each spring sign on the Nature’s Calendar website. It’s important that you’ve been looking regularly, so that it really is the ‘first’ date. For example, we want to know when snowdrops first start flowering in your location, not when they have already been flowering for a week or two!
By taking part, you’ll be contributing to records dating back to 1736. These records provide scientists with crucial information as to how nature is responding to changes in the environment. Read our blog about two recent research projects that have used Nature’s Calendar records.
Jean Combes OBE has recorded the date of oak budburst on a tree near her home every year since 1950. Her records have been used by scientists interested in the impact of a changing climate on trees and wildlife.
The date of oak budburst varies from year to year, but the overall trend, shown by Jean’s 66 year long record, is that budburst is getting earlier.
If you enjoy taking part this year, don’t forget to record again in 2018, 2019 and beyond! Will budburst be earlier or later in your location next year?