Spring on the Ightham Mote estate

Bluebells and primroses in Scathes Wood on the Ightham Mote estate

Spring is the time to see wildflowers, wildlife and birds blossom at Ightham Mote. Our estate walks offer beautiful views, woodland trails and plenty of spring favourites.


Birds

As spring heralds warmer temperatures, our winter resident birds are joined by returning migrant birds such as house martins and swallows. You may even spot tawny and barn owls foraging for their young.

Barn owls are nesting on the estate
Close up of a barn owl's face
Barn owls are nesting on the estate

Wildlife

Spring brings our first butterflies, such as the red admiral, brimstone, comma and peacock. Dormice, wood mice, voles and other small creatures begin to appear. Much work is being done by our ranger team to safeguard and improve the habitats wildlife and birds at Ightham Mote.

Peacock Butterfly
Peacock Butterfly
Peacock Butterfly

Trees, plants and flowers

Bluebells are abundant across the estate during the spring months, usually from mid-April onwards. Wild garlic (ramsons), the male hazel flower (catkins), the red of the female hazel flowers and primroses bring dashes of long awaited spring colour. Look out for wood anemone, foxgloves, celandine and lady’s smock, while pussy willow is abundant in Scathes Wood. Usually from May, great spotted and early purple orchids can be found on the path edges close to our Hoppers Huts on our estate Green Walk. The tree cover is filling out once again, with hazel, sweet chestnut, beech, ash and veteran oaks coming into full leaf.

Lady's smock on the Ightham Mote estate
Lilac lady's smock wildflower on the estate
Lady's smock on the Ightham Mote estate
Ranger activity

During spring, our rangers and their volunteers switch to maintenance projects, including fencing, steps, path edges and general repairs. Education is a key part of a National Trust Ranger’s role, so escorted walks and activities for visitors, schools and volunteers take place in the spring and summer months especially. Our rangers also take part in a number of national and regional surveys – such as wildflower and wildlife surveys.

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Ightham Mote ranger volunteers putting in posts
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