Top spring nature spots in Yorkshire

The new season is bursting to life all around us and you can't help but notice the transformation outside. Plants and flowers are starting to emerge from the undergrowth, trees are sprouting new shoots and if you listen carefully you can hear the sound of new life. Keep your eyes peeled as we share the top nature spots in Yorkshire this spring, here's what you can start to look out for and where:

    Chase butterflies on the North York Moors

    When butterflies emerge from hibernation it signals that spring is in the air. Go for a ramble through the moors and see if you can spot British favourites like the small tortoiseshell, peacock and brimstone amongst the purple heather.

    Go bird spotting

    Spring is the best season to go birdwatching in the woods around Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal. Download one of the walking or cycling trails through the landscape, and keep an eye out for songthrushes, long tailed tits and goldfinches as you go. Follow the river Skell winding its way through the Valley of Seven Bridges and you might spot some water-loving dippers in their natural habitat.

    Look out for migrating birds

    Early spring is the ideal time to see many of the birds that make the long journey back to British coasts when the weather gets warmer. Noisy seabirds like kittiwakes, fulmars and razorbills can be seen in crowds at Cowbar Nab, and patient birdwatchers could be rewarded by the sight of rarer birds like the Lapland bunting.

    Colourful displays at Rievaulx Terrace

    The banks and woodland surrounding Rievaulx Terrace will awaken all your senses after winter darkness. Colourful displays of bluebells and early purple orchids add to the stunning views over Ryedale and the ruined Abbey.

    Nearby, Nunnington Hall is home to a wildflower meadow and wildlife corridor, where you can learn about the different birds and beasties that rely on wildflower habitats.

    Mad hares at Malham and Marsden

    Brown Hare

    Hares are normally shy nocturnal creatures, but now is the best time to spot them out and about in the moorland of Malham and Marsden Moor. Brown hares get caught up in March and April madness at the start of the breeding season, so see if you can spot the male hares jumping about in a bid to attract a female.