Whilst students of language may argue whether the old adage of ‘N’er cast a clout till May be out’ means you shouldn’t discard your winter clothes until the end of May or until may blossom is out; in natural history terms it really makes no difference. After all, may or hawthorn blossom is usually most abundant in the month of May.
Whilst early risers might notice the chill in the air, there is plenty of wildlife worth wrapping up for, not least the uplifting ‘dawn chorus’ of bird song. This is truly one of the UK’s best natural spectacles and whether you enjoy the pinnacle of the bird song season in a garden, park or in the wider countryside, it really is worth the effort of an early start. Now that lockdown restrictions have eased you can share the experience with friends and even pick up breakfast from your favourite café before you head home. If you’re keen to experience the dawn chorus as part of your 2021 ‘bucket list’ why not visit one of our lesser known woodland sites this May such as Kirton Wood, between Kirton and Egmanton, or Dyscarr Wood at Landgold?
Once the sun is fully up and the nip in the air has disappeared, there are many seasonal delights to warm your heart, including early butterflies on the wing, the aerial acrobatics of swifts and swallows or the simple joy of watching birds rear their chicks.
With so much wildlife to savour, May is also the time to sign up for The Wildlife Trusts’ 30 Days Wild Challenge. After a year of lockdowns why not join the fun with others from across the UK and get set to do one ‘wild’ thing a day every day throughout June? Your daily Random Acts of Wildness can be anything you like –from litter-picking to birdwatching or puddle-splashing, it’s up to you. But to help you on your way, The Wildlife Trusts will provide you with a free postal or digital pack of goodies to inspire your wild month. This will include an activity passport and a wallchart to track your progress. Alongside all of these benefits, taking part in 30 Days Wild is scientifically proven to make you feel happier, healthier, and more connected to nature.
In 2020, more than half a million people got involved, from families and couples, to teachers, care homes and workplaces. Everyone’s invited! For details of our nature reserves and how to get your free 30 Days Wild pack visit www.nottinghamshirewildlife.org.
Our café at Idle Valley is now open for take-away between 10.00am and 3.00pm seven days-a-week – so do drop in to support us if you are visiting the reserve. Updates about facilities and opening times can be found at www.facebook.com/IdleValleyNatureReserve.
Main image Swallow feeing young © Mike Vickers